17 Orchard Point is a play about family, especially the relationship between a mother and daughter. A mother named Lydia returns from Las Vegas, where she’s lived for years, to the apartment in which she lived when she was married and raising children. One of her daughters has married and moved. The other named Vera lives in the apartment and manages the building that is still owned by her mother.
Every family has baggage and even some skeletons in the closet, but these two wackadoodles have a lot of both. Vera is born-again and a spinster –quiet, introspective, downright nerdy. Her mother is quite the opposite. Lydia is a functioning (although barely) alcoholic. She is over-the-top and superbly played by Michele Pawk. She is the mother from hell and she plays it to the hilt. The story is intriguing and the tension builds slowly as Vera and Lydia “dance” around one another. It comes to a head as hidden truths surface and family secrets are revealed.
This is the world premiere of 17 Orchard Point which is written by Anton Dudley and Stephanie DiMaggio, who also stars as Vera. The play was pretty good until the end. It is fascinating to watch the two women spar and change. But, the ending was abrupt and felt unfinished. I left disappointed. I hope as the cast, playwright and director address this weakness as they work out the kinks before it opens because it has the potential of being a great play.
17 Orchard Point began previews on 4/25 and I saw the play just two days later. The downside of previews is that the creative team often is still tinkering with the show. The upside is that you can find really inexpensive tickets. It might be worth the chance, but I’d recommend waiting for the reviews after it opens. The show officially opens May 4th with only a four-week run. LAR
Opens May 4 with a limited four-week run.
Beckett Theater at Theater Row – 410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.
$45 with discount code at Theatermania. http://www.theatermania.com/off-broadway/discount-tickets/17-orchard-point_303111/