The Lincoln Continental
nytheatre.com review by David Gordon
July 18, 2009
Kathy Kafer's The Lincoln Continental is a charming, harmless two-hander about a father, a daughter and the family car through the years. That the material seems so genuine goes to show the familiarity in a story such as this; every family has a passed down object or two that means so much.
Kafer's brief, if at times overwritten, piece takes us from Rachel's first driving lesson with Murray in 1974, the time she backed the car into the garage, to 2008, when, with Murray in an assisted living facility, it's time for Rachel to give up the car after it finally goes to the garage in the sky.
The father-daughter scenes are nicely played by cast members Richard Vernon and Janet Metz. Their chemistry, given what I imagine was an abbreviated rehearsal period, is surprisingly apparent. Kafer gives each a monologue or two, but the monologues spew far too much exposition. Perhaps expanding the play to feature a few more characters would better suit the theory of showing and not telling. Toning down Rachel's whininess, apparent in every scene, would improve the play, as well.
Director Steven Yuhasz keeps the scenes moving along at a very fast clip, with extreme minimalism (two chairs representing the car) that works in the plays favor. Specific mention must be given to sound designer Johan Churchill for the distinct and precise sound effects.