Eleanor Rigby Is Waiting
nytheatre.com review by Leslie Bramm
August 15, 2004
Like it’s more famous namesake, Davi Parr’s Eleanor Rigby is Waiting moves in familiar places and explores equally familiar states of loneliness and emotional isolation. Parr’s script is funny, tightly written, and often touching. Moving in snippets from one Manhattan location to another, six actors play over a dozen lost New York City souls. The play is tied together by a few thin strands and a skillful use of roses. We see these people collide, dissolve, and desperately try to make some kind of human connection. Each actor plays multiple roles, and Parr intertwines their lives as the climactic scenes begin to weave in and out of each other.
The song lyrics paint a detailed story of a spinster trapped in her meaningless and void life. Lennon and McCartney are masters at sussing out characters with a minimal amount of words. The song asks the question, “where do they all come from”? Parr succeeds in using the song to create the general theme of lonely people, but the text falls short of making the characters real. Parr’s play might be served by listening closely to the last verse of the song (Lennon’s contribution, by the way) and trying for a deeper sense of closure.
The direction by Eric Amburg is excellent. He moves the action smoothly from beat to beat and finds a tempo that suits the play perfectly. The ensemble is well cast and all the actors have moments where they are "bang on." Standout performances are given by DeAnna Gonzales and Michael Hardart—they are able to dig deep consistently. Lighting by Stephen Brady serves the play well and the sound design by Michael Creason creates an eerie pastiche that sets the mood. Eleanor Rigby is Waiting is an enjoyable play that doesn’t quite hit its mark, but never fails to remind us of how lonely we can become and, at the same time, that there is always someone even more so.