Liz on Theatre

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

668316f85edae018080e_Scott_and_Noreen.jpg
b177ee8cfe167705e609_Lunch_group.jpg
668316f85edae018080e_Scott_and_Noreen.jpg

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Sign Up for E-News

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on their own experiences. She notes that many of their members have been with Dreamcatcher for 20 years, an rare commitment in today’s rapidly changing world.

When the play opens, we learn that Dorothy (Noreen Farley) has sold her house and is downsizing to a two-bedroom condo. Her husband Robert has died and she is ready to start anew. Her adult children gather to sort through belongings, reflect on memories and learn more than they need to know about each other.

There’s a discrepancy among the family members.  Michael (Scott McGowan) is a successful lawyer, who thinks he never lived up to his father’s expectations. He’s found a significant other, the witty and warm Charles (Harry Patrick Christian.) But Michael isn’t ready to disclose to his family that he’s in a gay relationship.

Daughter June (Harriett Trangucci) has her own issues to resolve. She’s busy clearing out a desk, which holds secrets that she’s determined to share. Susan is played by Ekstrand, there to organize the packing and disposing, but going through her own marital crisis. Karen (Nicole Callender) is Dorothy and Robert’s adopted daughter, quick with a quip,

but dealing with some sort of medical/emotional trauma. Then we have June’s daughter, Emma (Brianna Kalisch.) She and Graham (Christopher John Young) are romantically involved and, before the end of the play, become engaged.

Sorting out these relationships takes most of the 90-minute play, which is set in a Victorian house in Montclair, NJ.

The cast works smoothly together, with each actor bringing a distinctive quality to the production. Because of their ensemble work, you have the sense that they are, indeed, a family. Farley is always a fascinating actress to watch and here she underplays her role effectively, especially when we learn about her own deception over the years.

Betsy True has directed the production with an even flow. William Ward’s set design allows a sense of moving from attic to bedroom to kitchen in a seamless manner. Zach Pizza’s lighting enhances the atmosphere.

“What Stays” continues at Dreamcatcher Theatre through Feb. 25. For tickets, call 800-838-3006 or visit DreamcatcherRep.org. The theatre is located at Oakes Center, 120 Morris Ave. in Summit.

 

Liz Keill reviews professional theatre in the New Jersey area, ranging from the McCarter Theatre in Princeton to Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. In addition to writing for Tapinto.net, she does theatre analysis for HometowneTV in Summit. She holds a Bachelor's in Journalism from Penn State and a Master's in Communication from Syracuse University. Liz is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, which holds seminars at regional theatres across the country as well as in New York City.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Warren

Missing in North Plainfield: Have You Seen Angel?

June 21, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Have you seen Angel?

Angel is a seven year old black and white Husky last seen near Westervelt Ave. and Manning Ave. on June 16 wearing a black collar. Her family says she is very friendly. 

If found, call Andrea at  888-466-3242.

 

Warren Financial Planner Fined $500K, Barred from Selling Securities for Defrauding Seniors of $6.1 Million, NJ Attorney General Says

June 16, 2018

NEWARK, NJ –  A Warren resident and his company, a Morris County investment advisory firm, were fined $500,000 in civil penalties and barred from selling securities for fraudulently selling at least $6.1 million in unregistered securities to elderly and retired New Jersey investors, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced on Friday. 

The Bureau of ...

Warren Temple’s Knead to Feed Honored with Community Service Recognition Award

June 24, 2018

The Jewish Family Service (JFS) recently celebrated the charitable work of Knead to Feed, a challah bread baking organization based out of Temple Har Shalom in Warren. The Community Service Recognition Award was presented to Knead to Feed founders at the JFS’ 38th annual meeting on June 6, 2018.

Kneed to Feed at Temple Har Shalom was born out of a sermon delivered by Rabbi Randi ...

PAL Runners Take Titles and Record At USATF Jr. Olympics T&F State Championship

PLAINFIELD, NJ – The highly anticipated USATF Jr. Olympics T&F State Championship meet brought the best of the best of New Jersey to Hub Stine Stadium in Plainfield for a two day event, Saturday June 9 and Sunday June 10, 2018. Top-three earn medals and top-six competitors in each event advance to the USATF Region 2 Junior Olympic Championships on July 12-15 at the College of New ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c0dcc5b06e5dfbe83904_vbs2018-banner

Mon, June 25, 8:45 AM

Stonecrest Community Church, Warren

Summer Spectacular 2018 VBS

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_c0dcc5b06e5dfbe83904_vbs2018-banner

Tue, June 26, 8:45 AM

Stonecrest Community Church, Warren

Summer Spectacular 2018 VBS

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_c0dcc5b06e5dfbe83904_vbs2018-banner

Wed, June 27, 8:45 AM

Stonecrest Community Church, Warren

Summer Spectacular 2018 VBS

Religions And Spirituality

Obituaries

Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more

Manutti Marina in Belmar: Top Choice for Boating, Fishing and All-Around Family Fun

June 12, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — It’s no secret that Belmar Manutti Marina ranks among the best boating destinations along the Atlantic coast.

Tucked along the eastern shoreline of the idyllic Shark River — just a five-minute trip by boat to the ocean — the state-of-the-art marina is a top choice among boaters looking to stay for the season, enjoy a vacation or spend the weekend.

In ...

Missing in North Plainfield: Have You Seen Angel?

June 21, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Have you seen Angel?

Angel is a seven year old black and white Husky last seen near Westervelt Ave. and Manning Ave. on June 16 wearing a black collar. Her family says she is very friendly. 

If found, call Andrea at  888-466-3242.

 

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...

To Our Republican Supporters in Warren Township,

June 12, 2018

 

I want to thank the voters of Warren Township for the overwhelming support Gary and I received on the June 5th primary election.  This would not have been achievable without the hard work of our families, many friends and supporters as well as the loyal Republicans that cast a vote for us and our shared goals.  

 

The campaign is not over until the ...

Thousands Expected for Sourland Music Festival

June 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Sourland Music Festival will be held Saturday, June 23 from 3-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club at 146 Wertsville Road, rain or shine, to benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

Discounted advance-sale tickets are available online only, Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We’ve got a really powerful lineup of the region’s most ...

SCBP Biz Fest 2018 Draws Record Crowd

SOMERSET, NJ - More than 500 people attended Biz Fest 2018, Somerset County's ‘hyper-local’ trade show and networking event, on Thursday at the Imperia.

The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) organized the event.  SCBP Vice President of Business Services Chris Edwards said that this year's Biz Fest was a huge success. 

"This has been ...

Update: Police Break Up Fight Involving 40-50 People at Bridgewater Commons Mall

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported in an incident that shut down Bridgewater Commons Mall Thursday evening after a fight involving a crowd of 40-50 people.

Police are still investigating unconfirmed reports of shots being fired, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.

The mall is closed for the evening as the investigation continues.

Somerset County ...

March for Watchung Library and Rally Set for Saturday

WATCHUNG, NJ - Supporters of keeping a Watchung Library in Watchung have organized a March For Watchung Library to be held on Saturday, June 16. 

The Coalition to Save the Watchung Library is rallying support and have asked all who want to participate to “paint a sign, put on some purple, and come out and join your friends and neighbors for a Rally on the Green and ...

Thousands Expected for Sourland Music Festival

June 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Sourland Music Festival will be held Saturday, June 23 from 3-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club at 146 Wertsville Road, rain or shine, to benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

Discounted advance-sale tickets are available online only, Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We’ve got a really powerful lineup of the region’s most ...

Third-annual Juneteenth Parade and Heritage Festival in New Brunswick this Weekend

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Vulcan Pioneers of New Brunswick, comprising the city's Black Fire Fighters Association, will host the Juneteenth Parade on Saturday, June 16 to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth celebrations are held across the country to mark the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865. That state was one of the last locations to learn of ...

Manutti Marina in Belmar: Top Choice for Boating, Fishing and All-Around Family Fun

BELMAR, NJ — It’s no secret that Belmar Manutti Marina ranks among the best boating destinations along the Atlantic coast.

Tucked along the eastern shoreline of the idyllic Shark River — just a five-minute trip by boat to the ocean — the state-of-the-art marina is a top choice among boaters looking to stay for the season, enjoy a vacation or spend the weekend.

In ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...