CARE written and performed by Diane Flacks and Richard Greenblatt, directed by Eda Holmes (Tarragon, 30 Bridgman). Runs to May 28. Pwyc-$34. See Continuing, page 77. 416-531-1827. Rating: NN Rating: NN
The problem with Care is all in the title. Despite the efforts of the hugely talented writer/performer duo of Diane Flacks and Richard Greenblatt , we don't care enough for their characters or their predictable dilemmas. The two play Ellie and Steve, a stressed-out, sleep-deprived couple caught dealing with a demanding new baby and a sick parent. Ellie has put her career on hold to become a full-time caregiver, while Steve, resenting his diminished - okay, non-existent - sex life, has been spending more time at the office, partly tempted by a hot new client.
Sound familiar? Probably. These are themes that can be found in any sitcom or family drama. In fact, they're issues the audience is likely dealing with themselves. Which could explain the sound of shifting bums in the theatre. Who wants to watch their own problems onstage?
Of course, good art illuminates the familiar. Care merely recounts it.
Flacks and Greenblatt's previous collaboration, Sibs, worked because they examined sibling rivalry in an original fashion.
Some imaginative flourishes are on display in Care, mostly in the gallery of characters who pop up for little scenelets, like a number of the ailing father's home-care workers (all played by Flacks in brief, confident strokes).
A bit about an all-knowing deity who looks over us (or doesn't) has promise, but, like a lot of scenes in the play, it's a mere sketch.
Given more work, it could have provided a bookend to give the play a more solid structure. What we're given as an ending is so abrupt, it almost feels like the actors have left out a section.
Director Eda Holmes hasn't done much in the way of shaping the mater-ial, and John Thompson 's set is so unremarkable that a few days after seeing the play, I can barely remember it.