The Salvagers – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

The frosty outdoors of a Chicago winter does not begin to measure up to the chilly conditions inside the home of Boseman Salvage Senior and his son Junior. No amount of fireplace heat or furnace generated gas or electrical air vents are likely to warm up the relationship of this parent and son unit. Emotions are ready to ignite as the generational pair are ready and able to bicker and explode over each and every family argument. As the snow piles grow, so does the antagonism. Baby, it’s cold inside.

The Yale Repertory Theatre suggests you get your scarf and gloves ready for the world premiere of “The Salvagers” by Harrison David Rivers until Saturday, December 16, an intense play commissioned by the Yale Rep, through the auspices of the Binger Center for New Theatre.

Issues heat up with the Salvagers as dad, Boseman Salvage Senior (Julian Elijah Martinez) and son (Taylor A. Blackman) disagreed about practically everything. Dad is a locksmith, one who ironically does not possess the magic key to unlock a meaningful relationship with his son. For his part the son wants to be recognized as a legitimate actor, one who ravels in reciting Shakespeare, but he doesn’t know the lines he must speak in dealing with his father.

Yet with his mother Nedra (Toni Martin), he has no problem expressing his love. His parents were too young, mere teens, when he brashly entered their lives. Even when father and son find comfort in a loving relationship, dad with a substitute teacher Elinor (McKenzie Chinn) and Junior with restaurant co-worker Paulina (Mikayla LeShae Bartholomew), the intriguing family differences do not dissipate. Can these fractured personalities be “salvaged”? Will their secrets and lies ever be healed?

For tickets ($15-65), call the Yale Rep, 1120 Chapel Street, New Haven at 203-432-1234 or online at Performances are
Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesdays at 2 p.m. (select) and 8 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., and Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Enter this involved family and discover the pains and promises as they struggle to survive and thrive much more than a brutally cold Chicago winter.