Strong acting is the backbone of The Victory Theatre's current play, "Taking Care," which is an intensely personal, brutally honest, highly praiseworthy play about how some families aren't always warm or close or loving or happy.
It's about an atypical Jewish mother and her atypical, live-at-home, middle-aged, mentally ill son, who refuses to take his medications. It's also a play about people who are never seen, but are always felt onstage — like the sisters who don't want to visit and the neighbors who don't want to help.
Crazy, schizophrenic Benny (Tim Sullens) and his bitter, funny Ma (Maria Gobetti) have created their own special Hell, and made it as comfortable as possible. Benny is trapped in a life of rage, communicating best by kicking in walls or pitching his food across the room. Ma has become his equally trapped caretaker, enabler and apologist, ignoring his shocking outbursts and insisting to anyone she might call on the phone that Benny is harmless — always within Benny's earshot. Then suddenly, like people seen in a flash of lighting, Benny and Ma might reveal keen intelligence and great kindness.