Presented Merrimack Repertory Theatre
by William Donnelly
Directed by Kyle Fabel
Review by Kate Lonberg-Lew
(Lowell, MA) It’s so easy to get lost in the minutia of daily life – the food shopping and bill-paying – that you forget that you make your own destiny. That, in fact, your destiny is created in those very everyday decisions. And it takes an unexpected event, be it a stranger knocking at your window or an unexpected call from an old friend, to remind us. Homestead Crossing, currently playing at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, is the story of just such a couple.
Noel (David Adkins) and Anne (Corinna May) have forgotten that they have control and they have certainly lost touch with the exuberant and hopeful young couple they once were. That is, until two young strangers, Claudia (Lesley Shires) and Tobin (Ross Crowan), knock on their window during a fierce storm. They open the door for the young couple, and in so doing, open a door to their past.
Adkins (Noel) has you laughing from the very beginning with his fabulous comedic timing and desire for emotional control. The nervous energy crackling from May (Anne) creates a wonderful tension whenever she walks onto the stage. The relationship between the two actors is clearly evident in the way they play off of each other. When Shires (Claudia) and Crowan (Tobin) get into the mix they only improve matters, adding their own depth and richness. The actors are supported by a simple and unobtrusive set.
Every member of the cast and crew works extremely hard to sell the play and they almost, almost succeed. However, every story asks you to buy into some fundamental truths, and when it fails to sell these, the play doesn’t work, no matter how good the actors or the set are. Please forgive my vagary here, as to get into specifics would be to divulge the man behind the curtain. Let’s just say that it
happens partly because author William Donnelly uses too heavy a hand and partly because he’s afraid to fully commit to his genre.
That said, do yourself a favor, suspend disbelief, and go enjoy Homestead Crossing.