nytheatre.com review by Amy Lerner
August 10, 2007
Alex Goldberg's play Stock Home takes a careful examination of the relationship between two lovers and the desperate measures they will take to prove their love—including kidnapping. As seen in many other relationships, the woman wants to take the relationship to the next level. But unlike in a typical family, the man kidnaps a 14-year-old girl from the mall in order to fulfill her wishes.
Changuitos Productions identifies Stock Home as a psychological drama, yet much of the action plays as a dark comedy that at times veers toward something more serious. Because of this contradiction in tone, it was difficult to tell what Goldberg was trying to say with the piece. Goldberg is certainly a witty writer, and his wit is especially noticeable in the hands of these three more-than-capable actors.
The actors make Stock Home a worthy evening of theatre. Megan Tusing as Kaylee, the kidnapped teenager, is powerful in her quiet transformation into comfort with her new family. She is especially terrific in her scenes with Conrad, her kidnapper, as you can see her character battling between the attraction to him yet trying to stay faithful to her conservative ways. Tusing is also quite an expert at playing 14: the moment where she experiences her first kiss is a perfect combination of embarrassment and excitement. It is a beautiful performance, and Tusing has a promising career ahead of her.
Also excellent is Mather Zickel as Conrad, who powerfully yet quietly dominates the stage whenever he is on it. His constant brooding is reminiscent of Stanley Kowalski, and you could see the sadness behind his anger towards Tammy, his girlfriend. Tammy is likeably played by Lauren Cook with an unending perkiness, and it is her character who seems most fitting in the dark comedy scenes of the play.
The simple set and lighting are beautifully executed, and using the light of the TV to illuminate the apartment in between scenes is an excellent idea. The sound design, though distracting at times, also helps illuminate the fact that this is a family whose lives revolve around the television set.
Stock Home is a journey that is entertaining to watch, yet it would have been more compelling had there been a definite conclusion to its story. I would love to see Goldberg take the play to another level by clarifying his thematic objective: perhaps the tragic elements hinted at in the script now could be amplified to really give the piece some power.