The pared-down language jabs true, revealing relationships and character with precision, pathos, and humor. Mother-in-law and daughter-in-law plan the funeral:
MELODY: Maybe we could put out all of the candies and stuff he liked, Little Debbie nutty bars! Skittles! And sour patch kids!
HOPE: Craig doesn't eat trash like that.
MELODY: Um, yes he did. Those are his favorites. He hid them in his car.
HOPE: You can't serve CANDY at a funeral. What would people think?
MELODY: They'd be like: yay! Candy!
HOPE: The caterer will handle the food, I’ve already placed the order.
In that sequence we have it all: groping to come to terms with a sudden new reality; the shift from present to past tense ("doesn't eat…"yes he did"); a ray of bittersweet humor from Melody; and Hope's strained reaction to the younger woman's freer spirit. The play is in part a modern comedy of manners, asking how we behave—and ought to behave—when a loved one dies unexpectedly. It's also a brilliantly staged showcase for a fine cast in an excellent new work by one of our top playwrights.
Photos by Ben Arons.