BWW Reviews: 4000 MILES Rolls into the Cincinnati Playhouse
4000 Miles by Amy Herzog tells a complicated story that involves a young man and his grandmother. Leo arrives at his grandmother's (Vera) New York apartment in the middle of the night after riding across the country on his bicycle. He ultimately stays with her for months and their relationship takes on many levels during this time. Leo is grieving and recovering from the loss of a friend and Vera has to get use to someone else in her apartment after the death of her husband. This production was able to find a balance between emotional and funny, which can be a hard thing when the scene never changes and only has 4 actors.
And speaking of those 4 actors, they were fantastic. Robbie Tann as Leo was great at portraying this ever-changing and at times unstable guy. He seems to have all the answers when it comes to conflict at first but slowly loses his grip and slips back into his youthful rebellious self. There are times where it seems like Leo is asking for the audience to hate him but Tann is able to make Leo redeemable. And the scene where he describes what happens on the bike trip is haunting and beautiful (there wasn't a dry eye in the house). Rosemary Prinz as Vera was the perfect blend of loving grandmother, annoying grandmother and comic relief. Prinz has most of the funny lines and every one of them is said with the right comic timing and tone. The best example of Prinz's comic ability is after Leo is done telling his story about his bike trip and everyone in the audience is either crying or holding back tears, she has a line that is so funny and said so perfect that it breaks the tension of the moment but not in a cruel or insensitive way but in a genuine and caring way. Christine Lin and Adina Verson both weren't in the play for long but were great when they were involved.
I have nothing to put in the not so good column so I will continue with the good. Blake Robison's direction is what I attribute to all the good stated above. Robison seemed to have understood everything that this play was about. And a quick shout out to James Kronzer because his set was exactly what I imagine a 90 year old lady's New York apartment to look like.
I enjoyed every second of this show and you will too so get to the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park before it's too late. 4000 Miles is running through March 9, 2014.
Photo Credit: Sandy Underwood