(l. to r.) Elizabeth Elias Huffman, Lily Knight and Ron Bottitta: Photo by Jenny Graham.
Under the keen direction of Simon Levy, The Children, by British playwright Lucy Kirkwood, is a fast-paced, kitchen-sink wonder with a special kick. Hazel (Lily Knight), and her husband, Robin (Ron Bottitta), are retired nuclear scientists who live just beyond the contaminated zone of a nuclear power plant that was destroyed by a massive tidal wave. She bustles about with domestic tasks dressed in a shirt, pants, and a sweater when Rose (Elizabeth Elias Huffman) makes an entrance. The reception is forced-friendly and cool. Rose is also a nuclear scientist. She is well-dressed and elegant. They haven’t seen each other in about forty years. The dialogue is ping-pong, non-stop, and the physical movement is ever on-going. And something smolders under the action.
Eventually Robin makes an appearance. He has been out tending to a small herd of cows. Robin is a powerful man and his entrance kicks up the action considerably. As in this play and in others I have seen, Ron Bottitta is a dominating force of nature on stage. Ms. Huffman as Rose, skillfully treads lightly over this domestic mine field, and keeps her revelations tightly within. Lily Knight is a whirlwind of domestic action and keeps a lid on her powerful emotions until they explode. In classical fashion, the action surges towards a climax and dénouement, leaving the audience exhausted and standing to their feet in a sustained ovation.
The Children is impeccably mounted by scenic designer Andrew G. Hammer; lighting designer Christian V. Mejia; sound designer Marc Antonio Pritchett; costume designer Naila Aladdin Sanders; choreographer Annie Yee; and dialect coach Nike Doukas. The production stage manager is Gina DeLuca. Stephen Sachs and James Bennett produces for the Fountain Theatre. Producing underwriters include Sheila and Alan Lamson, and Carrie Chassin and Jochen Haber. The executive producer is Karen Kondazian.
The Children is performed:
Fridays at 8pm (dark Dec. 24, Dec. 31, Jan. 7).
Saturdays at 8pm Nov. 13, 20, 27; Dec. 4, 11, 18; Jan. 8, 15, 22 (dark Dec. 25, Jan. 1). Sundays at 2pm Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28; Dec. 5, 12, 19, Jan. 9, 16, 23.Mondays at 8pm Nov. 15, 22, 29; Dec. 6, 13, Jan. 10, 24 (Dec. 20, Dec. 27, Jan. 3, Jan. 17).