Kathleen Tolan’s new play explores the relationship between Katia (Cassandra Bissell), a high-school senior determined to avoid completing her college application essay, and her adoptive mother Maggie (Taylor Miller), a onetime dancer turned office worker. We know that Maggie’s a dancer, because at one point during their ninety-minute standoff, Katia turns to her and says, “You used to be a dancer! You used to have your own company!” This is not a play with a light touch. Bissell, frequently consigned to mope in various silent postures, conveys Katia’s adolescent angst compellingly enough that I at times wanted to ground her. Onetime “All My Children” star Miller offers a chilly and mannered Maggie, keeping the audience at bay as resolutely as she does her daughter. “Memory House” is the kind of production that a Woody Allen character might appear in, glimpsed occasionally as whatever love triangles play out around it. Its sumptuous set features a working oven, affording Miller the opportunity to bake an actual pie during the course of the play. Victory Gardens offers slices of the pie to randomly selected audience members afterward, but unless you’re a theatre-pie maven, you might find more satisfying desserts elsewhere. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.