By Elizabeth Ann Foster
Three sisters, Anne (Crystal Finn), Isabel (Susannah Flood) and Genevieve (Miriam Silverman) reminisce over 30 years of their lives on their front porch in Dallas. Simple premise. Not so simple next hour as things are not what they seem.
They wonder why they are still in the same house on the same porch when the home was sold. Each has a man in their lives, Genevieve a loving husband and father of her children Steve (Ryan King) married funny dependable. Anne a day laborer Juan (Cesar J. Rosado) from Juárez, Mexico and the Isabel’s man is the lord a faceless ghost (Brendan Dalton). All men are leading double lives.
The set is the front porch of the house where one of the sisters still lives. A you wait for the audience to be seated the Dixie Chicks and other country music is playing. A menacing figure with a muslin cloth across his face blurring his identity peaks out from behind the house. One hopes this is a member in the cast. It is very unsettling. As the house lights are dimmed, and the play begins he runs offstage. This is not the last of we see of him.
If you have ever been to Dallas, you know how real this set is. From the dried-out lawn of St. Augustine grass, to the porch and typical house architecture your transplanted.
Anne, Isabel and Genevieve are talking out on the porch. Anne has just revealed she is pregnant, and their sisters have already missed out on her marriage. The father/ husband is a day laborer who was fired. Anne promises to fill them in later and then it is later. And the quick-witted conversation continues as we learn all about the sisters’ past and futures.
The men in the play keep ending up in Plano. Dallas has a love hate relationship with Plano like the New York and New Jersey rivalry or any 2 cities or states that border one another. Plano being “Jersey.” Who goes to Plano and why? We get some answers as we follow Juan down there on one of his road trips and Anne’s suspicions are confirmed.
There is a plot twist when their mother Mary (Mary Shultz) arrives and explains past events in detail to her daughters. The red ribbon she speaks of is symbolic and is foreshadowed in the sister’s earlier conversation. It takes on a menacing meaning when Mary retells the story.
Pay close attention. This is fast moving. As the audience left the theater, they tried to figure out what had just transpired. Fasten your seat belts and get ready to laugh and be surprised. Very limited engagement with limited seating. Perhaps this will follow Clubbed Thumb’s other production What the Constitution Means to Me and get extended and move to Broadway as well! If you’re lucky you will catch it. “Everyone hates Plano,” Genevieve says of the town. Trust me you will love the play by the same name.
PLANO – Written by Will Arbery and directed by Taylor Reynolds.
With: Crystal Finn (Anne), Susannah Flood (Isabel), Miriam Silverman (Genevieve), Cesar J. Rosado (John/Juan), Ryan King (Steve), Brendan Dalton (Faceless Ghost), Mary Shultz (Mary).
Scenic design by Daniel Zimmerman; costume design by Stephanie Levin; lighting design Isabella Byrd; sound design Tyler Kieffer; choreography Kelly Bartnik; prop design Raphael Mishler; production stage manager Corinn Moreno; production manager Jenny Beth Snyder; Connelly Theater 220 East 4thStreet NY NY 212-260-0153 email@example.com Through May 11 Monday – Friday at 8 p.m. Saturday at 3 p.m. Tickets $30-$60 https://www.artful.ly/clubbedthumb/store/eventsRunning time 70 minutes no intermission.