WeatherGrrrl and I capped off our day in the Twin Cities yesterday with showing of “Other desert cities” at the Guthrie Theatre. With one exception, the play was quite splendid. The opening section of incredibly funny in a quite dark sort of way, as a family reunited for Christmas dance and spar with each other as a prickly kind of getting reacquainted. It then gets increasingly serious, tense, and emotionally wrenching as both the past and the future of the family are explored in ways that are in turns explosive and tender.
The director and five person cast does a great job with an intelligent and perceptive script, conveying rich complex characters that could easily become stereotypical and 1-dimensional. The set did a wonderful job of capturing the spirit of a well-heeled, old-guard GOP operative home in Palm Springs, and gave the proscenium space a real depth and scale.
My one nit to pick is the very end scene. Without saying much because I don’t want to spoil, I found the last scene to be weak and lacking the emotional punch of the rest of the play. I’m not even sure it was all that necessary, and could perhaps have been left off altogether. While it’s unfortunate to end on a weaker note, the vast majority of the play is quite excellent and totally makes up for that thin spot.
The play ends this weekend (24 March), so get tickets while you can!