Adapting and Deuteranomaly
nytheatre.com review by Ed Malin
June 2, 2012
Planet Connections Theatre Festivity presents Deuteranomaly and Adapting, a double bill of interesting and somewhat scary plays about child-rearing. In keeping with the Festivity's theme of green and charitable causes, the plays are staged to benefit the Adam R. Spector Foundation and Women for Women, respectively.
Deuteranomaly by Jessica Fleitman is the story of parents Leah (Dee Dee Friedman) and Allen Greenberg (Vinnie Penna) who learn their young son David is color-blind. The title refers to the inability to distinguish between red and green. The disappointed albeit perfectionist Jewish couple is drawn to biblical stories from the book of Deuteronomy, where Moses is shown the Promised Land which he will never enter. The couple decide never to use expressions like "green with envy" with their son; that would just be cruel. It is funny but also sad. Fast forward twenty-two years. David (David J. Goldberg) is living in the apartment he inherited from his deceased parents. He is now dating Cassandra (Erika Lee). She is a painter, whose work David believes he will never appreciate because he is color-blind. Or will he? Good thing the spirits of his parents descend, in humorously non-Jewish fashion, to tell David the things they never shared before. Director Paula D'Alessandris brings much laughter into a process all parents should try: letting go. The optimism is enhanced by David's willingness to transcend his supposed limitations.
Adapting by Sinead Daly takes place in a somewhat recognizable future world. Expecting couple Stacy (Ali Scaramella) and Gregory Ferguson (Brian Zoppi) are still as nervous as any new parents. However, now children come in boxes, with instruction manuals and programmable remotes. Likable Gregory tries to please his wife in all ways, but it turns out she is a nasty piece of work who is incapable of being happy with their new daughter (Brianna Hurley). Will they really send her back to the manufacturers? The two corporate delivery men from "Storc," (Marc Metivier and Francis Mateo) remain the most human and humane characters in this story. Director Heather Lanza directs a strong cast (who were visibly sweating) through some difficult material.
This is a thought-provoking evening of theater. You don't need to be a parent to enjoy it. You probably should not go see this on a first date. But seriously, if you want to see two very different plays about learning to change and get more out of life, head to 45 Bleecker. You can also learn about eco-friendly lifestyles in the lobby.