Lil's 90th -- Heartwarming but breaks no new ground.
By Bob and Karen Isaacs
BOB: We saw two new plays in Connecticut recently and unfortunately neither will make a lasting impression on the dramatic canon.
KAREN: Long Wharf is presenting Lil's 90th, by Darci Picoult.
BOB: It stars Lois Smith and David Marguilies -- a real-life couple -- as Charlie and Lil, a long married couple.
KAREN: The press release describes the plot, "As Lillian nears a milestone birthday, she and her family put the finishing touches on the much-anticipated party at which she'll make her singing debut. There's a speech to be written, a band to rehearse and, of course, an outfit to choose. But then Lil's husband Charlie's secret gets out - the birthday surprise that he hoped would make her day may instead tear their lives apart."
BOB: This is nicely performed and directed BUT it really doesn't add up to much. There are too many moments when the characters do dumb things.
KAREN: Yes, at times I wanted to yell out -- to the daughter and grandson -- don't you see what is happening -- why don't you do this or that.
BOB: Right. Without giving too much away, let us say that Charlie has gotten caught up in a scam - perhaps he is in the beginning stages of dementia or Alzheimers -- and though some of the family notices -- they aren't very effective at dealing with the consequences.
KAREN: This play is touching and sentimental -- it would make a great made for TV movie on Lifetime.
BOB: But it isn't great theater. Lil's 90th is running at Long Wharf through February 7.
This review originally aired on WNHU 88.7FM and WNHU.net