Keeping your husband’s ashes in an urn on top of your refrigerator is not a healthy thing to do and Jane knows it.  As it nears the one- year anniversary of hubby Roy’s death, she is struggling with all aspects of her life as a young widow.

As a single mom trying to raise her daughter alone, Jane (Beth Wittig) clings to her good friends Tom and Marrell (Clark Carmichael and Tijuana T. Ricks) who are coping with the joys and trials of new parenthood and her witty gay friend Alan (Andrew Rein) who try to wrap her in a cotton cocoon of caring.  They even introduce her to a sexy and charming doctor Jean-Pierre (Maxime de Toledo) hoping to waken her from her funk.

To meet Jane, the poet without direction or inspiration, and her clique of well-intentioned friends, come see “THIS” by Melissa James Gibson, billed as the “best new off-Broadway play,” until Sunday, February 27 at TheaterWorks in downtown Hartford.  Labeled a comedy, “THIS,” under the direction of Amy Saltz, is decidedly on the serious side.

Jane is on the verge of a meltdown, and it isn’t just her ice cream cone.  Because she is floundering, like a canoe without a paddle, she commits an unforgivable act that threatens to send her and her moral compass permanently pointed due south.  She can’t forgive her husband for “deserting” her by dying and it’s too easy to let alcohol anesthetize her feelings.  How can she wake up and choose life again?  Will she be able to overcome a major indiscretion?  Will the urn of ashes ever find a better home?  All Jane is sure of is that “THIS” is not working.

For tickets ($40-62.50), call TheaterWorks, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford at 860-527-7838 or online at  Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with weekend matinees at 2:30 p.m.  Come early to view the collage art by Joy Floyd in the upstairs Gallery of American Art.

As that dreaded age of forty creeps closer, this circle of friends questions the directions that life is dictating somewhat ill advisedly.



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