BWW Review: GOODNIGHT NOBODY at McCarter Theatre-A New Play Featuring Dana Delany
GOODNIGHT NOBODY, a new play by Rachel Bonds, now running at McCarter Theatre, is set in a farmhouse in upstate New York. The house belongs to Mara, played by Emmy-Award winner Dana Delany. Much of the plot revolves around her adult son and his friends, whose lives and yearnings are woven into her own; to one she is a mother, but to the others she is their lover, or potential mentor in art or parenting.
What starts out as an intriguing exploration of a mature woman's attraction to an inspiring young artist, pivots into an hour and forty-minute visit with too many house guests. Each competes for the audience's attention, offering stories but not always answering our questions. We are privy to the intimate conversation of the friend-group portrayed, but never sure how these stories will move us along. Still, there are entertaining moments and thought-provoking themes.
Dana Delany brings a star-quality backed up by talent to her performance in a role that is unfortunately not the focus of the play. It's clear this show has been tasked with bridging a generational divide in theme and potential audience. And, as usual, the cast is talented. But unlike the savory food cooked up by the character Nan, played with intensity by Saamer Usmani, this creation feels both under and over developed.
The cast includes two-time Emmy Award-winner Dana Delany (China Beach, Desperate Housewives); Ken Marks (Broadway's Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark, and Spring Awakening); Nate Miller (Ayad Akhtar's JUNK at Lincoln Center Theater); Saamer Usmani (Shakespeare in Love at Stratford Festival); and Ariel Woodwiss (Significant Other at Roundabout).
The creative team includes Kimie Nishikawa (scenic design), Ásta Bennie Hostetter (costume design), Jen Schriever (lighting design), and Daniel Kluger (sound design). Dramaturgy provided by Christine Scarfuto. Casting by Kelly Gillespie, CSA. Alison Cote and Christine Whalen are the stage managers.
Rachel Bonds' GOODNIGHT NOBODY is directed by Tyne Rafaeli. The production runs January 10 - February 9 in McCarter's Berlind Theatre. More about the production can be found by visiting: mccarter.org.
Photo credit: T. Charles Erickson