In Wendy Graf’s new play, Please Don’t Ask About Becket, fraternal twins, Becket (Hunter Garner) and Emily (Rachel Seiferth)—best friends, tight as ticks, each the other’s half—inevitably grow apart as they mature into teenage, young adult and beyond. Becket is handsome, smart and gifted. He loves music, can play a guitar and sing and compose. Emily is smart, too, maybe smarter. But she lives in his shadow and is content to play second fiddle, until she isn’t. When Becket starts to have trouble, things change. He his grades plummet, he gets kicked out of schools and starts to mess with alcohol and drugs. He becomes the focus of attention in the family, with Emily an afterthought. After all she isn’t the one who needs help and guidance.
The family is well off. Dad, Rob Diamond (Rob Nagle), a loving father and Hollywood mogul, deals with the pressure of his job while doing the best he can for his family. Mother Grace (Deborah Puette) strives mightily to be a good mother, and she is, even though she is consumed by Becket’s troubles while her daughter, though not neglected, pales in the shadows.
Although Becket is the crux of the story, Emily is the central character. The play spans decades and she goes in and out of the scenes to bridge the action of the play with expository narrative. She becomes Becket’s emotional crutch until the burden of the job, her desire to have a life of her own and the increasing downward spiral of her brother’s trajectory compel her to withdraw.
Produced by Electric Footlights, Please Don’t Ask About Becket is deftly directed by Kiff Scholl and mounted in Sacred Fools Theater Black Box . Configured with the audience on all four sides, the show boasts a necessarily minimalist scenic design by Evan Bartoletti, with sound by Cricket S. Myers and costumes by Wendell C. Carmichael.
Please Don’t Ask About Becket is a play that builds in power to the point that the audience is absorbed in pin-drop, rapt attention. A fine cast, a compelling story and an intimate setting make for a satisfying evening of drama.
Please Don’t Ask About Becket runs through September 18 at Sacred Fools Black Box Theater, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood.