Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Sunday, 09 September 2012 14:43

But will she be able to see Russia from her house?

Written by Andrea Braun

The Details

  • Director: Bill Whitaker
  • Dates: September 7 - 22, 2012
hotcitytheatre.org
hotcitytheatre.org

Lynn Hallaby (Nicole Angeli) doesn’t know why she needs to go to Alaska and work as a commercial fisherman. Her family, including husband, Ray (Eric Dean White); parents Margie and Hudson (Peggy Billo, Joe Hanrahan), and brother Kelly (Charlie Barron) haven't a clue either. All she is sure of is that this is something she must do, and all her family is determined to do is stop her.

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday by EM Lewis is an examination of one woman's desperation filtered through the prism of her life as it is, the way it was, and the hope, however vague, of finding what's missing. On the surface, nothing seems terribly wrong. Her husband loves her, as do her parents in their singular fashions. Her mom is a religious fanatic who still imposes Hail Marys on her children for bad language, even though both are adults. Dad is a stereotypical paterfamilias who depends on his wife to take care of his everyday needs but seems a bit in her way since he retired. Brother is needy, and he appears to want Lynn to stay in their small Oregon town to support him. He is in love with Gary (Rusty Gunther) but hasn't had the nerve to come out to his parents, so he's still sneaking around.

And, while it doesn't sound much like it from what I've said above, this is a comedy, and a good one. The play was a finalist in HotCity's annual Greenhouse Festival in 2008 (where new scripts are workshopped) and has wended its way back to St. Louis for its premiere. At first, I found it difficult to be patient with Lynn, but as the story progressed, I began to feel her, even though I didn't get her on any kind of rational level. We do know that her family's concerns are informed by an incident 10 years ago when Lynn was 17 and maybe tried to commit suicide. Kelly dragged her out of the tub. Her husband reminds of her that when he proposed, she swam too far out in his dad's pond and he had to pull her back. Does she need a man to save her again?

This is a remarkable cast. Angeli conveys the proper combination of regret, caring and bemusement to deliver a woman in conflict with herself to whom we can relate. Billo is very funny as her egg-obsessed mother (you'll need to see it to get that reference) and Hanrahan is appealing as the rumpled dad who doesn't have a clue what to do, but since Lynn wants to fish, he brings out their old fishing gear and suggests they go out to the local fishing hole. Barron strikes the balance between neurotic and sympathetic, aided by Gunther's mature performance as his lover. White is only onstage for about a third of what is already a very short play (70 minutes) but he makes an impression as the baffled husband in love with a woman who says she does love him, but cannot stay any longer.

Bill Whitaker clearly works well with his actors as they move naturally around the well appointed set (Sean Savoie) of kitchen and bathroom, both of which are fully functional. Billo cooks, Angeli makes coffee, and cheery yellows and placid blues represent the sunny side of life that Margie espouses and the depression that seems to beset Lynn, respectively. Michael Sullivan's lights show the family in full illumination most of the time, and Jane Sullivan's costumes are especially appropriate for Margie who looks older than Billo and frumpy in her burgundy pants outfit. Zoe Sullivan designed the sound, including lots of "I gotta get out of this place" kinds of songs such as "(I can't get no) Satisfaction," "The Sunshine of Your Love," and of course, the title song which leads us into the action.

There is a basic argument among the entire group as to whether change is bad or good, at least at first, and it's up to each of us to decide where we want to go in our own lives. You may well get some insights on how to think about that if you stop by the Hallaby house as Lynn is getting ready to go north to Alaska.

Additional Info

  • Director: Bill Whitaker
  • Dates: September 7 - 22, 2012

KDHX Recommends

February
Monday
08

Bob's Scratchy Record Spin and Dance Party with Bass Amp and Friends

Bob's Scratchy Record Spin and Dance Party will be hosted by Bass Amp and he will be joined by other members of Alley Ghost throughout the evening. For those of you missing Bob's Scratchy Records on Friday afternoons, this is...


February
Thursday
11

Folk Song Sing-A-Long

Folk Song Sing-A-Long Presented in partnership with the Folk School of KDHX, weekly meetings will discuss and sing different periods of folk music.  Presented by St. Louis OASIS.


February
Thursday
11

Welcome To Our Movie: The Bottle Rockets Live & In Person

In 2009, a live show by iconic Midwestern rock band The Bottle Rockets was filmed with the intention of releasing it as a live concert DVD. As the footage moved through post-production, it transformed into a more ambitious project...


SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook