Thanksgiving Is No Picnic

November 17, 2016 - Picnic Time

by Cynthia Citron

The play is patrician “A Beautiful Day in Nov on a Banks of a Greatest of a Great Lakes.”

The pretension alone should give we some idea as to how bad a play is.

A prolonged slight list stretches opposite a prolonged slight theatre (or what would be a theatre if they had one), confronting a audience. Seated during a list are dual group named # and @ (Christopher Neiman and Kjai Block) wearing headphones and mics and job out a movement as if they were providing tone to a equine competition or a football game. They also play a span of twins after a rest of a family arrives.

There are 10 actors personification 19 parts, entrance and going as a extended family sets adult for Thanksgiving. Setting adult involves a prolonged method during that dual sisters named Trifle and Cherry Pie (DebbieJaffe and Tegan Ashton Cohan) disagree over a accurate chain of a list play on a trestles — “It’s not centered”, “Move it a bit left”…

There is a third sister, named Cheesecake (Sarah Lilly), who is a designated stewardess of this get-together. She is somewhat frazzled, yet she manages to keep things using comparatively uniformly while everybody bustles around attempting to help.

It should be remarkable that a list and chairs are a usually furnishings on stage. There are no props, and all a mad activity is conducted in pantomime.

And afterwards a guest start to arrive. There are GrandDada and his mom SnapDragon (John MacKane and Judith Ann Levitt), and somebody called Smilesinger and her father (Rebecca Light and David Bickford). Bickford also plays Ned/Ed/Fred/Runnerman and Republican, while Light plays Republican’s wife/Trainer/Trainer’s partner/and a Wives of a Twins. And everybody has brought their assorted kids, who do not appear, yet are all waved off to a guest room for a nap.

The final to arrive is Gumbo, who is Cherry Pie’s adult daughter. Her explain to celebrity is that she provides random disasters to a family’s get-togethers. At this entertainment she scarcely slices off a finger and bleeds all over everything. (“Don’t drain on a potatoes!” one of a kin cries.) Gumbo also spills a meal’s immature libation all over a table, and her mom wipes a disaster while crawling retrograde on a tabletop.

Meanwhile SnapDragon, a mom of a 3 sisters, unexpected asserts herself and starts verbally aggressive Cheesecake. She criticizes all Cheesecake does, even things she did in childhood. And even yet SnapDragon is blind, she admonishes Cheesecake, who is whisking a mixture of a giblet gravy. “I can hear we doing it wrong” she says.

Although # and @ continue to recount a movement from time to time, that shortcoming becomes Gumbo’s as she reports on a bloody and unnerving activity that ends a play.

Kate Benson, who wrote this play, was awarded an Obie (Off Broadway’s homogeneous of a Emmy) for it. Laramie Dennis, who leads it, has collaborated with Benson for some-more than 20 years. She co-founded a Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and chaired it for 6 seasons. The Lab, she says, “has nudged into existence some-more than 100 strange, smashing plays.”

“A Beautiful Day in Nov on a Banks of a Greatest of a Great Lakes” is many confidently “strange.” But “wonderful” it isn’t.

Performances will take place Fridays and Saturdays during 8pm and Sundays during 7pm by Dec 10th during Theatre of NOTE, 1517 North Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood. For tickets, call (323) 856-8611 or revisit

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