BWW Review: A KIND OF WEATHER at Diversionary Theatre
Coming of age and figuring out who you are can be difficult enough to navigate in the best of times, but when your Dad shows up unexpectedly on your doorstep without warning, and can't seem to remember where or when he is....those dynamics get a lot more difficult. A KIND OF WEATHER by playwright Sylvan Oswald is a comedic, tragic, introspective, and thought-provoking look at transition, but not in the way that may be generally assumed.
Yes, Kid (August Forman) is trans and trying to navigate writing a memoir about the transition while also navigating the developing relationship with his editor Rose (Andréa Agosto). When Kid's father Grey (Andrew Oswald) shows up unexpectedly on his New York doorstep and keeps referencing Jamaica it's clear that Grey is the one that is currently in a state of transition. In search of a tether and to regain a feeling of foundation in his life he has ended up on the doorstep of Kid's one-bedroom apartment.
A KIND OF WEATHER is more an exploration of reorientation of this new dynamic between Kid and Grey as father and son, who are the only remaining pieces of their family unit. While Kid is infinitely more put together than Grey at the beginning of the play, it's interesting to see the parallels between them. Both are dealing with a sense of guilt for various reasons, both want what they want, and don't always have the ability to articulate their feelings when push comes to shove with their significant others.
Grey was having an affair with Janice (Marci Anne Wuebben) before his wife passed, but events unfolded very quickly once his wife discovers this fact. He is a doctor, but his sense of who he is, and his relationships with these women and how they've changed have thrown him into a state of bewilderment.
Kid is in a newer relationship with Rose but is hesitant to put labels on anything, even when directly asked by Rose's boss Rick (Salomón Maya). Though Rick seems more concerned with how it may impact the timeliness of Kid's book being completed and Rose's ability to do her job than their emotional wellbeing.
Forman is utterly captivating as Kid, with a charm and natural presence that feels very grounded and real. Agosto's Rose is funny and feisty, and while their storyline together is more interesting and playful than the older couple, it also feels less connected than it could be.
Oswald as Grey is believably emotionally befuddled and has a sweet rapport with Wubben's Janice. Wubben is more than just a cookie-cutter mistress with warmth and expressive depth.
The show has a dreamlike quality with a time-jumping, tragi-comedy structure that plays with time, and place. Kid notes towards the end of the play "I can't tell a story in a straight line... only in circles or curves or shapes," which is an apt description for this play as well.
Direction by Bea Basso is empathetic and engaging, keeping the story unraveling as it moves through layers of time and space. Scenic design by Yi-Chen Lee and lighting by Joel Britt adds to the Zen and dreamy atmosphere.
The play is about relationships, both personal and professional, and how important a sense of identity is to a person. It's a trans story written by a trans playwright, and yet the play is about so much more than about that. As with the weather, there is electrical energy that can be felt in moments of transition, from calm to storm and back again.
A KIND OF WEATHER is a compassionate and emotional piece about life, love, and living in the moment that you've got. It's nice to see narratives beyond a dramatic coming out story; sometimes it's more a subtle pull as everything snaps into focus.
A KIND OF WEATHER is playing at Diversionary Theatre through March 8th. For ticket and showtime information go to www.diversionary.org
Photo Credit: Simptika