Monday, September 16, 2013
The Delaware Theatre Company (DTC) opened its 2013/14 Season with the black comedy Any Given Monday by Bruce Graham. Mr. Graham's four character play about an easy going, loving man (Lenny played by Kenny Morris) who's life is turned upside down when his wife (Risa played by Leslie Hendrix) of 24 years decides to leave him for a smooth-talking Casanova. However, the plot thickens when Lenny’s blue-collar best friend (Mickey played by Michael Mastro) tells Lenny how he has taken revenge on the Casanova on Lenny's behalf while watching the Monday night football game. During the game and the friends’ conversation, Lenny’s daughter (Sarah played by Lucy DeVito) decides to come home from school to not console her father, but to toughen him up and not become a "softy" when his wife decides to come back.
The play, set on the outskirts of Philadelphia, could have easily been a run-of-the-mill story about a cheating partner, but Mr. Graham has written a complex, witty piece with twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat or bending over in laughter. I must admit I don't think I have ever laughed as hard at DTC as I did while watching this production.
Bud Martin expertly directed the production and the ensemble cast. Mr. Morris masterfully transforms from the sweet, easygoing high school teacher who’s obsessed with To Kill a Mockingbird in the first act to the take-charge alpha male in the second act. Ms. Hendrix is exquisite as the manipulative, spoiled wife. Her facial expressions and body language are priceless. Mr. Mastro has the task of delivering many of the shows funniest lines and he does it with great ease. He does an incredible job of bringing his dim-witted, but loveable character to life. Ms. DeVito rounds out the cast as the charming, but wise daughter who is obsessed with discussing life/death, religion and God. She does a fine job with her many humorous, philosophical monologues.
I have been seeing plays at DTC ever since I was a teenager in the late 80s and I’ve always been impressed with the sets for each production, and the set for this play doesn’t disappoint. Scenic Designer Dirk Durossette has created a multi-purpose stage that includes the inside of the family’s home and a portion of one side of the stage to serve for the scenes that take place outside of the home. His details are impeccable. Shortly after sitting down, my friend immediately pointed out the game of Sorry that was placed on a shelf in the family’s living room. It’s those details that I find add credibility to a play and makes it fun to explore the rest of the set!