Harbor -- This new comedy kept us talking
By Bob and Karen Isaacs
BOB: We have different opinions about Harbor, a world premier comedy now at Westport Country Playhouse. The play raises a serious issue regarding responsibilities but it does it in a comic rather than serious way. I was really interested in seeing how it all turned out.
KAREN: I really did not care for this work -- not only did I find one of the characters so distasteful that I wanted to either walk out or go on stage and slap her, but I also felt the playwright, Chad Beguelin, added too many extraneous issues into this comedy. It needs a lot of work.
BOB: I enjoyed a lot of it, because of the way it dealt with the issues and the way it made its points while doing it with a light hand.
KAREN: Harbor is about Ted and Kevin who have been together for 10 years in a picture perfect house in Sag Harbor. When Kevin’s ne’er-do-well sister, Donna, who he hasn’t seen in years, and her 15-year-old daughter arrive unannounced, Kevin and Ted’s lives change and tensions bubble to the surface. Kevin suddenly decides, after much convincing by Donna, that he wants Ted and him to adopt Donna’s unborn child, despite his and Ted’s prior decision to not opt for parenthood.
BOB: The whole story turns on this issue -- Ted’s refusal to be a party to this and Kevin’s feeling that he wants to do this and that it his responsibility.
KAREN: I am not convinced that Kevin really would have wanted this until Donna, who is a master manipulator and perhaps grifter, suggest it and works him over. Obviously this is play about power in a relationship, what happens when partners change in ways the other may not like or agree with, and the brother-sister dynamic.
BOB: Kate Nowlin as Donna, plays the role very coarsely. You will however, get a kick out of Alexis Molnar who plays her precocious 15-year-old daughter.
KAREN: I’m not sure that Nowlin could have done much to make the potty-mouthed Donna less vulgar -- the term I heard from audience members was “trailer park trash.”
BOB: Bobby Steggart as Kevin and Paul Anthony Stewart as Ted, deal with their relationship in a totally believable way. Though Steggart looks very young to have been in a relationship of 10 years.
KAREN: Mark Lamos, Westport's artistic director and the play's director, did a good job at handling the material and the cast.
BOB: Obviously there is work to be done on Harbor, but it is a promising beginning to what could be a fine play.
KAREN: Well, I am not sure I agree with you about the potential -- I just don’t think it works.
BOB: It is at Westport Country Playhouse through Sept. 15.
This review aired on WHNU- 88.7 fm and www.wnhu.net