By Margot Thomas
WHEN Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz first appeared on Broadway in 2011. it was described by a leading critic as: “The most richly enjoyable new play for grown-ups that New York has known in many seasons”.
Starting Thursday, Jan 18, Panama theatregoers will have the opportunity to see for themselves what earned such fulsome praise as The Theatre Guild of Ancon (TGA) presents its first performance of the year the play that was a Pulitzer Prize drama finalist.
It tells the story of the return of Brooke Wyeth to visit her parents in Palm Springs after a six-year absence. A once-promising novelist, she announces to her family a soon to be published memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history – a wound that her parents don’t want reopened, and the family erupts as Brooke spars with her parents, reminisces with her charming younger brother Trip, and receives the dubious emotional support of her alcoholic aunt, Silda.
The play makes sure our sympathies keep shifting among the members of the wounded family Every one of them emerges as selfish, loving, cruel, compassionate, and irritating. It’s a challenging exercise, but the TGA has a long history of coping with challenges and sending audiences home with a sense of fulfilment.
Director Ramona Rhoades, a former professional actor who performed in a long-running TV series where attention to detail and the nuances of dialogue and expression were scrutinized by millions of viewers, has guided her cast to present a performance that promises to emulate the TGA’s long record of success.
The cast is Linda Johnson as Brooke, Paul Kimmel as Lyman Wyeth Keitha Kushner as Polly Wyeth, Relaine Winslow as Silda And Michael Lindo as Trip.
The play is produced by Monica Crespo.
Jan. 18-20, 25-27, Feb 1-3
Curtain up at 8 pm at the TGA theatre in Ancon. Tickets $15, Arrive early and catch up on the latest gossip at the patio bar