“HARBOR:” WORLD PREMIERE PLAY REDEFINES FAMILY


By Bonnie Goldberg

The definitions of what constitutes a marriage and a family have been much in the headlines recently. Politicians have weighed in on all sides. In Chad Beguelin’s world premiere play “Harbor,” he reflects on the homosexual realm he inhabits with a melodramatic, soap opera comedy he sets in Sag Harbor, a wealthy, privileged area of the Hamptons, on Long Island.

 

“Harbor” revolves around the lives of Kevin and Ted who have lived together, married, in superficial happiness, for a decade. Their cohabitation will be examined and laid bare on the stage of Westport Country Playhouse until Saturday, September 15.

 

Kevin (Bobby Steggert) has been struggling for years to write a novel, being cuddled, coddled and enabled by his lover Ted (Paul Anthony Stewart), an architect, who because of the economy, is finding it harder and harder to get commercial assignments. While they are not suffering financially yet, they are beginning to feel the pinch. Their idyllic life, at least on the surface, is interrupted irrevocably by a phone call from Donna, Kevin’s estranged sister. Donna is a kooky, free spirit who travels the country in a van with her precocious teenage daughter Lottie, never building a home, or even a nest, for them to share.

 

Kate Nowlin’s Donna, with a sharp mouth and unlikable manner, is ready to foist herself and Lottie into Kevin and Ted’s comfortable home, ready or not, without an invitation or a life jacket.

 

Donna has a special agenda and she works hard to get her points across and her desires known. Her suggestion, which borders on a demand, causes Kevin and Ted to reevaluate their relationship. The only one who is truly an adult in this confrontation is Lottie who knows what she wants and needs and works honestly to make it a reality. Alexis Molnar captures her portrayal perfectly.

 

To call this a comedy is stretching the humor. There is too much angst and emotional storms that shatter any illusions about happily-ever-after endings. Director Mark Lamos encourages these talented actors to be candid and revealing, on an inviting set designed by Andrew Jackness.

 

For tickets ($30 and up), call Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport, off route 1, at 203-227-4177 or 888-927-7529 or go online to www.westportplayhouse.org. Performances are Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

 

Help Kevin and Ted, Donna and Lottie, reevaluate their roles in each other’s lives, their responsibilities and obligations, as they determine what family means.

 

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