Playwright Ronan Marra’s twentysomething dramedy “Landslide”—about the reunion between estranged siblings and the desiccation of one of their marriages—offers no illuminative pronouncements on parental loss, addiction or family tensions. It also leaves unresolved as many narrative issues as it raises, populates its stage with complex characters who dare to be difficult and unlikable and scrambles its chronology, expecting audiences to actually pay attention. Nonetheless, the core themes in “Landslide”—the usual stuff about guilt and denial typically heard in a shrink’s office—feel remarkably fresh as articulated onstage through the play’s sharp dialogue, expert sense of rhythm and well-drawn characters whose shifts in temperament inform the dramatic momentum. And despite the underdeveloped character of Sarah, the second act’s patches of lugubrious sentimentality and Marra’s obvious facility with penning comedic versus tragic moments, the play’s smart cast adroitly handle material that in other hands could have easily turned treacly or overwrought. (F.O. Almeida)
This production is now closed.