The plays of Nicky Silver expose the hypocrisies of heteronormative society—i.e., family life—through the lens of queer disruptor: the attractive young son, brother-in-law, or next door neighbor transgressing acceptable boundaries in contemporary takes that have been frequently and favorably compared to the works of Joe Orton.
TOO MUCH SUN—in its local premiere, directed by Bart DeLorenzo—revolves around one of Silver’s signature monsters-of-ego: a stage actress, Audrey Langham (Diane Cary), who, in her opening scene, hilariously upbraids her director during rehearsal and walks out the theater. (The play was written for Linda Lavin, who played Audrey in the 2014 New York production at the Vineyard.)
Rather than go on with the show, Audrey repairs to the Cape Cod cottage of her estranged daughter Kitty (Autumn Reeser) for a little rest and recreational husband-hunting. (She’s hoping to land number six.) Audrey’s fall from grace seems to trigger similar acts and revelations from her immediate cohort: her son-in law Dennis (Bryan Langlitz), and father and son neighbors Winston (Clint Jordan) and Lucas—the wild card (Bailey Edwards).
Silver is a rare farceur whose work is always welcome. This time around, Silver’s characters are under a titular spell, addled by the heat and showing little ability to sustainably overcome a pervasive sense of apathy and exhaustion. TOO MUCH SUN is a transitional work for its author, his last “New York play” before moving to London last year.
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 pm.
Sunday at 2 pm.
Through April 28.
2055 South Sepulveda Boulevard, West Los Angeles.
From top: Diane Cary in her Too Much Sun opening monologue, Odyssey Theatre, 2019; Bailey Edwards (left), Cary, Bryan Langlitz, and Autumn Reeser; Cary and Clint Jordan; Reeser; Langlitz and Edwards; Cary and Reeser. Photographs by Jeff Lorch.