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LEMON SKY OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: September 27, 2011
Synopsis: From Lanford Wilson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Talley's Folly, Fifth of July, and Burn This comes this moving story about seeking acceptance in the place you most hope to find it. Wilson's autobiographical play depicts his California journey at age 17 to live with his estranged father, and his struggle to fit in to a family only partially his own. From Jonathan Silverstein, the Drama Desk-nominated director of last season's hit The Temperamentals and Drama Desk and OBIE award-winning Keen Company's acclaimed revivals of I Never Sang for My Father and Tea and Sympathy.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"California dreams wither under a blazing sun in “Lemon Sky,” a 1970 drama by Lanford Wilson that has been affectionately revived by the Keen Company at the Harold Clurman Theater. Among the most autobiographical works by Mr. Wilson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who died earlier this year, this simultaneously wry and plaintive memory play explores a painful passage in the life of a 17-year-old Nebraska boy who is reunited with his estranged father for an uneasy late attempt at father-son bonding."
"Certainly there are worse ways to bid farewell to the recently departed Lanford Wilson than Keen Company’s revival of Lemon Sky. The production is gentle and simple; it reminds us of Wilson’s deft way with images—he describes burned brush standing “like ashes on a cigarette”—and the fun he taught us all to have with theatrical convention. But while there are less worthy send-offs, there are better ways to stage this play. Jonathan Silverstein directs Wilson’s 1970 coming-of-age drama with the sort of deference that flattens, and so the work, which itself makes a fetish of narrative diffidence, seems as empty and two-dimensional as the Mojave sky."
"Lanford Wilson offers up a pungent portrait of a 17-year-old's attempts to reconnect with his father in his highly theatrical 1970 play Lemon Sky, now being presented by the Keen Company at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row. The production, directed with precision by Jonathan Silverstein, boasts a host of exceptional performances and manages to deliver a considerable emotional punch."
"Time plays a big part in Lanford Wilson’s “Lemon Sky” -- but it also hasn’t been kind to the show. When the largely autobiographical piece opened in 1970, it must have felt fresh and daring. Unfortunately, its edge has been blunted by the many variants on the formula -- deep, dark secrets coming to the surface; actors directly addressing the audience -- that have cropped up since."
"In the Keen Company’s fine revival of Lanford Wilson’s “Lemon Sky,” Keith Nobbs plays Alan, a sensitive 17-year-old child of divorced parents.
He moves west to a San Diego suburb to live with his father’s second family, which includes a warm but spineless step-mom (Kellie Overbey), two younger half-brothers and a foster child, a pill-popping, promiscuous blonde (Alyssa May Gold).
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