The Country House, by Donald Margulies, opened a couple of weeks ago to stellar reviews at the Samuel Friedman Theatre. It was about a bunch of actors (a family, multiple generations) who gather at their summer home to honor the death of the mother of the family who passed the year before.
There were tons of funny and meaningful one-liners in the first act, but the first act ended with a cliche moment that was only meant to give the playwright a reason to write a second act. While I enjoyed the first act a lot, it was obvious Margulies had no idea where to go in the second act. It had a few moments, but it was pretty pointless.
The performances were great though: Blythe Danner was wonderful as the famous dame of the family, Daniel Sunjata was wonderful and a bit sleazy as Michael Astor (the famous TV actor who needed a place to stay), and Sarah Steele was probably my favorite, as the Danner’s granddaughter, and the only one in the family who wasn’t in show business, Susie. I’ve seen her in many shows and she’s always fabulous and this performance was no different. Kate Jennings Grant was also endearing as the new wife to Walter (the funny David Rasche), who was obviously a little uncomfortable being there.
Although it had it’s moments, MTC has produced more focused work in the past and I can’t wait to see what they have in store next.