BWW Review: YOUR BEST ONE at Capital Repertory Theatre Supports the Notion That Nobody Can Push Your Buttons Like Family Can.
Richard and David had it all: great jobs, a great California apartment and a great relationship. It seemed a natural thing to adopt a child to share their good fortune, right? Whoops! Rewind! Richard's fear of commitment reared its head and out he walked. Now, eight years later, a crisis brings him back to be forgiven, to be useful, to be family. He wants a do-over. But we all know that anything worth having isn't easy to get - and is even harder to get back! As Richard and David deal with grown up matters, Josh, David's teenage adopted son, deals with newcomer Richard: Who is he? What does he really want? And what does it mean for Josh's future? Meridith Friedman's warm, funny and touching play gets to the heart of what family is all about and makes us realize that indeed, family matters.
This production of YOUR BEST ONE marks the east coast premier of one in a series of three plays by Friedman. In it, the Hoffman family rallies together, and against one another, as they wrestle with issues such as love, loss, finance, health insurance, child custody, and more in the context of a non-traditional, more modern family.
Friedman's script provides a good strong base to work from. With a cast that includes Michael McCorry Rose as David, James Lloyd Reynolds as Richard, Jake Goodman as Josh, Kate Wetherhead as Richard's sister, Laura, and Lenny Wolpe, who you will undoubtedly recognize, as Richard and Laura's widower father, Oscar. Under the direction of Gordon Greenburg and the talented ensemble, Freidman's work is in good hands. The characters and the verbal jabs at one another through adept banter feel very familiar and comfortable. We laugh along with them as they cut each other with the razor-sharp wit that realistically covers pain and is dealt out in copious amounts across a series of quick paced scenes in rapid succession.
It may likely feel familiar and even oddly comforting to some when Laura declares that "no one has ever judged me as much as my father and never will".
YOUR BEST ONE is a solid, well produced dramedy with a handsome and talented cast. It features a handsome and effective set designed by Caite Hevner, lighting designed by Rob Denton, costumes designed by Alejo Vietti, and sound designed by David Thomas. It is tender, sweet, and very real. There are no surprises, no twists, no turns. No aha moments, no powerful messages to take away and ponder. While this doesn't make YOUR BEST ONE any less worth seeing, it is rather predictable. In the end, YOUR BEST ONE is about love - which may not always look the same, but generally does feel good.
YOUR BEST ONE continues through February 09 at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany. Visit: https://capitalrep.org/ for tickets and information.