On a terrific, off kilter black and white set (Christopher Barreca) looking like a modern day stateroom on the Titanic as it is sinking, representing the living room of the equally off kilter Feingold family with a storm raging outside, a huge lightning thunderbolt starts off this very intriguing and satisfying film noirish tale of murder and revenge, where “family is everything” and gallows humor is ripe.
I thought that with this huge hurricane raging in New Jersey, if someone walks through that door dry I will be a very unhappy critic. Fortunately the prodigal son arrives from Los Angeles somewhat wet with very little luggage besides his BlackBerry.
After six years, on the anniversary of his dad’s death, Martin Feingold (Joseph Urla) returns to the nest after becoming a famous writer of a novel where his father’s death seemed like murder. In fact, his father (Dr. William Feingold -Jay Patterson) roams around the listing to starboard side living room silently entering, exiting and filling his glass up with scotch. We soon meet his confrontational sister (Jessica – Sharon Maguire) and overpowering, sarcastic and mean-spirited mother with a heart condition (Elizabeth – Concetta Tomei) for a family reunion of sorts to tie up some unfinished business.
The unfinished business is a delight to see unfold. Playwright Tony Glazer has written a clever, taut two act modern day Greek tragedy with a bit of Agatha Christie thrown in for good measure. In The Daylight is full of shadows and surprises. What actually did happen that night six years ago?
Martin soon discovers he has lost his BlackBerry in transit. There is a knock on the door and Charlotte Fontaine (Ashley Austin Morris) enters, also somewhat wet. She had been on the same flight as Martin and is one of his biggest fans and talks with a southern accent that you could cut salami with and knows more about him than does his family and has brought him back his precious BlackBerry. It is what else she brings and how all these characters relate to each other and how Mr. Glazer manipulates the proceedings that make for a very rewarding theatrical experience.
Under the bold direction of John Gould Rubin the actors flourish. They are on the edge of satire and melodrama but never fall into the abyss. They are all perfectly cast. I don’t want to spoil anything for you by giving away anything else. In The Daylight is a rare find. Exciting, suspenseful and grotesquely funny. Highly recommended.
At the McGinn Cazale Theatre – 2162 Broadway, 4th floor between 76th & 77th Street. Tickets $35.00 www.vitaltheatre.org