Complications arise the instant Peter’s estranged sister Julia (Hedy Burress) blows into town desperate for a place to crash. She’s already worn out every last shred of goodwill with her family, and she returns this time with even more unexpected baggage.
As soon as Peter reluctantly agrees to take Julia in for a week, his self-centered mother (Susan Sullivan) shows up to voice her disapproval. Already stressed to the limit over his family’s constant dysfunction, Peter somehow keeps it together even when his blind date comes over dressed in the traditional burka of a Muslim woman.
It seems Maureen (Beth Kennedy) has decided tonight is the night to try out her new approach to dating — keeping herself completely covered so a guy judges her personality before he can judge her looks. The more intense and uncomfortable the situation gets, the more inventive Peter becomes saving his family and himself.
The only newcomer in the cast, Hornor serves as a solid anchor for the rest of the actors to bounce the eccentricities of their characters off of. Burress makes the sister a lovable loser, while Sullivan makes the mother a likable monster. Lovensky Jean-Baptiste and Jay Harik are both extremely vibrant in small roles.
Best of all is Kennedy, standing out while remaining completely hidden under black cloth the whole show. She mines comedy gold from behind a mask, even using her burka for some hilarious slapstick involving hard-to-locate arm holes and a glass of wine.
It’s a rare bit of physical comedy in a play more memorable for its dramatic moments.
JAMES PETRILLO is an actor and screenwriter from Los Angeles. JAMES PETRILLO is an actor and screenwriter from Los Angeles.