Drama · alverson waites · Ages 18+ · United States of America

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June 06, 2022 certified reviewer

What I liked

Each scene is about 12 minutes long, which sounds short, but the playwright is so efficient with his writing and somehow crafts truthful emotional arcs to each of the four segments. The standout is the third scene, where a father (Chris Durmick) is dropping his daughter (Natalie Ramos) off at college… and because of Durmick’s grounded and lived-in performance, the audience feels the weight of the moment. Durmick brings to life the mixed emotions every parent goes through when saying goodbye to their child in that college stage of life — how it must feel like the end of the world you’ve lived in for the past 18 years — and then experiencing his realization it’s also the last time he will see his daughter because of Earth’s impending doom. Not a false moment in Durmick’s funny, melancholy, honest portrayal of the pride and perils of fatherhood… and Ramos holds her own with him, as a daughter with secrets she has to reveal in this final moment with her dad. Such a lovely scene! Great performances!

What I didn't like

The first scene was a little dark (thematically, not lighting-wise)… which I guess should have been expected from a play about the world ending… so it set a tone that I assumed would prevail over the following scenes, but I was happily surprised to see that the following three scenes were more full of love, humor, and life (again, unexpected for the cloud of death hanging over the entire piece). Also, the actual theater space is not great if you sit in the very last row — it’s not blocked off to your side, so there is light pouring in, you can hear people walking up/down the stairs, etc. If there was a way to block out the entrance to the theater, it would help the experience immensely.

My overall impression

A beautiful framing device — the world is about to end — adds a ticking-clock urgency to four wonderfully written and performed scenes exploring what would normally be everyday dramas (dropping your daughter off at college, signing divorce papers, moving into a new home) and elevating them to truly poignant human interaction moments. A great show, that knows its limitations of space, budget, and time, and uses all of that to its advantage. Go see it!

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