The Brightest Thing in the World – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Everyone has secrets, from a life experience or event that one would prefer stay silent and part of our past. But if we are lucky enough to meet someone, a significant other, we might be tempted to reveal that secret and share it in a moment of intimacy. The Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven is offering a world premiere of such a revelation in “The Brightest Thing in the World,” a play by Leah Nanako Winkler that was commissioned by the Yale Rep and supported by the Binger Center for New Theatre. It will play until Saturday, December 17 at 1120 Chapel Street, under the perspective direction of Margot Bordelon.

Outward appearances can be deceiving. To meet Lane, the manager of the Revival Bakery, you would imagine her life is as sunny and storm free as her bubbling personality. She loves to bake and greet her customers and radiates a welcoming vibe that appeals to one customer in particular, Steph. Katherine Romans’ Lane is excellent at presenting a positive outlook on life and Michele Selene Ang’s Steph is quick to fall under her adorable spell. Steph is balancing a life as a journalist with a job as a florist to meet an abundance of personal financial responsibilities. Completing this triangle of friendship is Lane’s older sister and primary care giver, Megan Hill’s Della.

We watch as Lane and Steph learn to trust each other, and their relationship blossoms like one of the beautiful flowers that Steph arranges at her job. Della looks on and marvels at how happy Lane becomes and how amazing it is that Della suddenly has a new man in her life to balance the promise of romance. The rose colored glasses come off when Lane confides her secret past to Steph and clouds obscure the horizon. That revelation prompts Steph to confess a thirteen year old secret from her life and both experience the need for forgiveness, for themselves and for each other. While each feel underestimated, they are grateful for the amazing relationship they have developed.

For tickets ($15-65), call the Yale Repertory Theatre at 203-432-1234 or online at yalerep.org. Performances are Tuesday-Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Masks are required.

We all struggle. Sometimes we are not strong enough to overcome the obstacles from the past that obstruct our present and future.

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