|Will Mobley, Robin Moseley, Paige Lindsey White, |
Anne Allgood and Lawrence Pressman
"Jon Robin Baitz's play Other Desert Cities, which received a Tony nomination for Best Play and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2012, is receiving its Arizona premiere from the Arizona Theatre Company. It was a hit on Broadway, and while that was partly due to its stellar "A list" Hollywood cast that included Stockard Channing, Stacey Keach, Rachel Griffiths and Judith Light, it is also a well written and engaging play about a family on the verge of unraveling. The story of a daughter and son who visit their parents in Palm Springs for Christmas, it is a play with many explosive moments, family secrets revealed and powerhouse acting by the five member cast. This co-production with the Indiana Repertory Theatre has very capable actors, sure-footed direction and a phenomenal set on par with the excellent Broadway production.
Other Desert Cities might come across a little too melodramatic or resembling a TV movie of the week, and Baitz spent some time writing for TV, including "Brothers and Sisters", where Griffiths played a regular. But I think the play is on par with another recent family drama, August: Osage County, which was even more melodramatic and soap opera like. So, I had no problem taking the dysfunctional family journey that Baitz has written, and I actually enjoyed it more seeing it a second time, with this very capable cast and production, even though I knew what twists and surprises were in store. The production at Arizona Theatre Company is on par with what was on Broadway two seasons ago, with a skilled and proficient cast, effective direction, and impressive creative elements."
Other Desert Cities at Arizona Theatre Company runs through March 2nd at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe Street. Tickets can be purchased at www.arizonatheatre.org or by calling (602) 256 – 6995. This production then moves to the Indiana Repertory Theatre with performances March 12- April 5th (http://www.irtlive.com/)