Find the heart of the play. And at the center of this play is heart. Nestled in the warmth of tradition and family we find a universal theme in the relationship between parents and children. In this case, we look at a child’s wish to please his or her parents.
In our story, Sarah is a young lady with a desire to please her parents and an empathy that drives another desire to keep from hurting anyone’s feelings. She works so frantically to keep her parents and everyone else happy that she forgets to manifest joy for herself. Because to make her parents happy, her own happiness has to be hidden. She knows her parents won’t approve of her boyfriend.
Let’s raise the stakes in the parent/child challenge. Juxtaposed against the rich traditions of Judaism to emphasize strength of family, how can Sarah possibly tell her parents who have a strict view of interfaith relationships that her boyfriend isn’t Jewish? Her answer? Lie — invent a Jewish boyfriend.
Now we are left to wonder how high can she build her beau charade tower before the Jenga block of truth brings it down?
Caught in the middle of her charade is Bob, an actor, who must navigate his way through the actor’s nightmare — thrust on stage without being given information about the show, the role, or what his lines are. This is why theatre folk learn to improvise. It’s a good thing Bob has had his classes.
Heart. Characters we love like family, with opposing views, placed together in the same room by an author with a Second City background. Should be fun. Let’s pull for Bob to find his way through each crazy evening and for Sarah to find her happiness.
M. Curtis Grittner,
Director, Beau Jest