(David Sheward's review appeared, April 9.)
Only Tina Howe, the author of such eccentric and lyrical works as Painting Churches and Coastal Disturbances, could take what is essentially an episode of Golden Girls and turn it into a tenderly sad and riotously funny meditation on age, family, and freedom of expression.
Zestful and irascible portrait painter Catherine Sargent is legally blind and hardly ever leaves her room in the Mount Airy Nursing Home in the Bronx. Raging against the dying of the light, she plots to escape to Paris on board the QE2. Her only hope is to enlist the aide of her senile roommate, Rennie Waltzer, who chats frequently with her late husband. At first the imperious, fiercely intelligent Catherine rails at being stuck with the sweet-natured and demented Rennie. But—surprise—by the final curtain they bond over their common ailments and their shared need to reclaim independence . . .
Presented by Primary Stages
Theater A, 59E59 Theaters
59 East 59th Street
(between Madison & Park)
New York, NY 10022
Ticket Prices: $60.00
March 24, 2009 – May 2, 2009
Run Time: approximately 2 hours including one intermission
CHASING MANET at Primary Stages: http://primarystages.org/chasingmanet.htm
(Tina Howe’s work is included in DUO!: The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century from Applause Theatre and Cinema Books—due in August.)