(It's Been 76 Years And We're) Still Waiting for Lefty

theatre unleashed · Ages 13+ · flashing lights · world premiere · United States of America

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August 13, 2021 certified reviewer

What I liked

I liked that each major character faced a dilemma, which required tough decision-making where either choice would burn bridges. The dialogue was sharp, with strong characterizations and distinct personalities. Artful lighting and blocking added symbolic motion and energy to scenes which were static in the literal sense. Acting was strong overall, with standout performances from Courtney Bell as a woman torn between principles and family connection, and Patrick Randolph as a stogie-chomping old boy politician.

What I didn't like

Despite the strong setup of each vignette, I often felt that the stakes were muted. The opposing forces were sometimes so blatantly wrongheaded as to border on caricature. As a result the protagonists didn’t feel as noble as I think they were written to be.

My overall impression

A smartly-written quartet of contemporary vignettes about sticking to your guns in times of conflict. The play depicts integrity under pressure, as four characters face the temptation of the easy way out versus fighting for a higher cause — be it a delivery worker’s strike, or keeping a beloved sibling accountable. Thought-provoking in a way that goes beyond the ripped-from-headlines subject matter.

I don’t think the play is as indebted to its titular ancestor as it implies. Having never seen the original “Lefty”, I didn’t feel like I was missing out.

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