Next Fall: Round House Theatre Stages the Recent Broadway Hit
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The last date listed for Next Fall was Sunday February 26, 2012 / 3:00pm.
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Called "a funny, furious tale" by New York Magazine, The Lyons follows an amusing, dysfunctional family at the hospital bedside of the patriarch, Ben Lyons, who's dying from cancer. His wife and two adult children gather for an atypical goodbye. Ben, freed from social conventions because of his condition, lets his words fly unfiltered -- curses included. Rita, his partner in a 40-year-long loveless marriage, finds her mind drifting toward thoughts of the future -- and home redecoration. The couple's alcoholic daughter and gay son have their own issues and agendas. Written by Nicky Silver (Beautiful Child), The Lyons was nominated for a number of awards for its 2012 Broadway run. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Goldstar Member
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A Timely Meditation on Sexual Identity, Love & Loss
Reviewed by Victoria D.
As the country heatedly debates the civil liberties of the GLBT community, Round House Theatre offers a timely meditation on the complexities of sexual identity, love and loss in the play, "Next Fall." In it, a group of friends and family confer in a hospital waiting room as Luke, a (sometimes) closeted gay actor, remains unconscious after a tragic accident. As his life hangs in the balance, each of Luke’s loved ones struggles to boost morale and temper emotional jabs as the going gets not only tough, but downright brutal.
Though a play largely about confronting one’s skeletons in the midst of crisis, "Next Fall" is mostly blithe and upbeat, the characters self-effacing and refreshingly flawed. Tom Story effortlessly juggles a constantly fluctuating range of emotions as the lead character, Adam, a forty-something hypochondriac whose romance with Luke challenges his worldview. Likewise Kathryn Keller is memorable as Luke’s batty, but well-intentioned mother Arlene, whose social faux pas and zany stories serve as comic relief. Dawn Ursula also delivers a beautifully grounded performance as Holly, loyal friend and the play’s consistent voice of reason. Unfortunately actor Alexander Strain’s stoic portrayal of Luke’s once close now distant friend, Brandon seems out of place amongst an ensemble of colorful characters with much more strongly developed backstories.
Most unforgettable, however, is the youthful and sensitive portrayal of Luke (told in flashback) by Chris Dinolfo particularly when juxtaposed against Kevin Cutts’ intense and equally impressive portrayal of Butch as Luke’s mannish and unyielding father. Despite the similar Christian values of their characters, Dinolfo expertly depitcts Luke’s devotion to his religion with naivety and benevolence while Cutts portrays Butch as a man much more dogmatically bound to his faith. The end result is a tense, heartbreaking and deeply relatable struggle between father and son. Equally convincing is the chemistry between Dinolfo and Story, who are not only lovers in the play, but who are a couple off-stage as well.
Also notable is director Mark Ramont’s masterful balance of the play’s non-linear structure. Set designer, Daniel Conway’s rotating set certainly helps, making clear the numerable transitions between scenes set in the past and present. Likewise Daniel Maclean Wagner’s intuitive lighting design and Matthew Nielson’s sound composition are together a successful shadowy and emotive concoction – moody without becoming melodramatic.
A play with but a miniscule flaw, "Next Fall" is full of enough familiar humor to make it worth the tear or two audiences will inevitably shed by the story's touching end.
The performance is recommended for audiences ages 15 years old and older.
About the Ticket Supplier: Round House Theatre
Round House Theatre produces literary adaptations and contemporary works for the stage, conducts community-based education programs, and provides a home to diverse artists and arts organizations. Their work is expansive: they make art to explore big ideas, broaden minds, move hearts, exercise imaginations, and--ultimately--to build community through the shared experience of live theatre.