BWW Review: THE ROOMMATE Shines at Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park

BWW Review: THE ROOMMATE Shines at Cincinnati Playhouse In The ParkHave you lived with someone who is your polar opposite, yet they have brought something out in you that you didn't know was there? Jen Silverman's play The Roommate, running at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park now through October 21 tells a similar story.

Recently divorced mid-50's Sharon has just gotten a roommate to share her house in Iowa with her. Robyn, mid-50's, has just moved to Iowa from New York, and is looking for a fresh start and space. Once Sharon starts finding out more about Robyn's past, it releases an inner need to deviate from the classic/normal path, and reinvent herself.

BWW Review: THE ROOMMATE Shines at Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park
Margaret Daly

After originating this role in the world premiere at the Humana Festival of Actors Theatre of Louisville, Margaret Daly returns to the role of "Sharon" with such humor. Daly's comedic timing as the over-protective middle aged mother is perfect. Whether she is delivering the lines or reacting to her co-star, her presence is magnetic. Daly also shares some beautifully raw moments, such as the many phone calls to her son. Sharon as a character is incredibly complex and goes on quite a journey in the 95 minute play, and yet Daly's portrayal of her makes her incredibly human and real.

<a href=Mary Jo Mecca" bheight="276" src="" width="199" />
Mary Jo Mecca

Mary Jo Mecca plays the hardened and secretive roommate, Robyn. From her first entrance she was extremely compelling. While Daly gets many of the quips and jokes, Mecca gets many of the more confrontational moments. All of which are handled with such grace and honesty. Robyn has many secrets that slowly seep out through the duration of the play, and Mecca gives the audience a great look into this complicated human's world. Mecca's character has many emotional walls built up around her for safety. It's easy for this type of character to be seen as emotionless and "dead", but her portrayal is so dynamic and round. The chemistry that her and Daly share is quite wonderful. There is a moment towards the end of the show that is both truly heartbreaking and beautiful. Their relationship, with all of it's twists and turns is so believable that I found myself getting attached to and wanting the best for both characters.

The play as a whole is remarkably written. Silverman's dialogue and characters that she crafted are so human and honest. The plot gives the audience a look into a life that many are not familiar with, and may have preconceived notions about. If they are like me, audience members will leave the Playhouse rethinking their opinions about these issues, and may come out a more openminded and understanding person.

BWW Review: THE ROOMMATE Shines at Cincinnati Playhouse In The ParkBWW Review: THE ROOMMATE Shines at Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park

In the director's notes, director Tracy Brigden shares what she thinks The Roommate boils down to: "At its core, The Roommate is about the fact that we can reinvent, reimagine, begin again, at any age, and the impulse for taking the first step can come from the most unlikely places. And even when it seems all is lost, you can open your eyes to find yourself in a better place than you ever imagined."

The Roommate is running now through October 21 at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Don't miss your chance to see this eyeopening comedy!

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From This Author Anne Simendinger

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