Almost Home – almost there, but not quite

almost home horizontalAlmost Home is Walter Anderson’s first play after having been editor, Chairman and CEO of Parade magazine for over 30 years. He is also a former Marine sergeant and Vietnam veteran. The man knows how to write and knows, in the case of this play, about what he writes.

It’s 1965 and Johnny returns home from Vietnam to the Bronx. He is wounded and shaken but has dreams for his future. Awaiting his return is his mother who wants to see her son realize his potential. But his father, who is nursing his own demons, and a family “friend” who’s a police captain have very different plans for Johnny. Johnny is caught in the cross-hairs.

This is a play that speaks of family dynamics and the price of war on an individual. The acting was good and I want to make special mention of Karen Ziemba, who gave a heart-wrenching performance of a mother doing everything humanly possible to keep her family together. The rhythm of the play felt a bit choppy and I’m not sure, nor was the audience the night I saw it, how it ended. The lights just went off. It seems as if a bit of directorial tweaking and tightening of the dialogue would make Almost Home a much better play. (caveat: I saw this play the second night of previews so some of the problematic issues may be resolved during its run). LAR

1.5 stars, half money bag

 

 

The Directors Company, Acorn Theater, Theatre Row: 410 W 42nd St.

Tickets: $46.25-$61.25 https://www.telecharge.com/home.aspx

Discounts: $33.75 http://www.broadwaybox.com/shows/almost-home/ CODE: TRHABB

Thru: October 12, 2014

Running time: less than 90 minutes

 

 

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