|A. Lawton, R. Poe & R. Moseley|
The Philadelphia Theatre Company, located in Suzanne Roberts Theatre at Broad and Lombard Streets, is presenting the East Coast premiere of Bruce Graham’s new play, the Outgoing Tide through April 22. Directed by highly acclaimed director, James J. Christy, this production has Barrymore written all over every aspect of it. Playwright Bruce Graham has given his three-member cast a wonderful vehicle to work with. Treating the serious theme of Alzheimer’s with touches of humor engages the audience every minute of the two-act play. Through Richard Poe, as Gunner, the audience is provided insight into an aging character whose mind is clear one minute and then wandering the next. Robin Moseley, as his wife Peg, artfully displays the gamut of emotions from frustration in having to answer, Are we having pancakes?” several times to desperation when her husband, in a moment of lucidity, wants to spare her the pain of caring for him. Philadelphia native Anthony Lawton does an excellent job trying to walk a tightrope to maintain a balance between his two parents. It is not only the writing and the acting that are noteworthy. Every member of the creative team deserves plaudits as well. David Gordon designed an authentic Chesapeake beach-front cabin along with a beach and accompanying dock and a brilliant sky that morphs into gorgeous hues of oranges and purples at sunset. Lighting Designer R. Lee Kennedy must be given credit for some of the sunset as well as the lighting changes that take place when the cabin slides out onto the beach and opens to reveal the interior. Bart Fassbender will receive a Barrymore for sure for his lifelike sound effects. When father and son grab baseball gloves to have a catch, there is no ball thrown, but as each one mimics catching a ball, the audience can hear the sound of a ball dropping into the glove. As father and son try to skip stones on the bay, the sound of each skip echoes throughout the theatre. This is Bruce Graham at his best. Don’t be one of the few to miss this performance. For tickets or further information call 215-985-0420 or visit online at PhiladelphiaTheatreCompany.org.