There’s nothing wrong with living a driven, goal-centered life, unless the people in your life don’t share your goals. Julia Brownell offers a compelling look at a family that not only fails to function on the same page, they’re all over the book.
Super Bowl-winning quarterback Mike (Andrew J. Pond) is floundering post-football; he’s written the memoir and the speaking engagements are drying up. He turns to athletic daughter Katie (Bryce Gangel) for dream fulfillment; if Mike gets his way, she’ll be the first female drafted in the NFL. Katie begins to think twice after a move to a high-school-football powerhouse; the game seems less fun and a successful future appears less likely. Mike harangues wife Beth (Kimberly Logan) to forget her nascent real estate career and have a third child and ignores wise-cracking black sheep son Aaron (Matt Edmonds).
Brownell’s ear for dialogue and eye for well-placed conflict successfully drive the story; each character has a well-developed thread. Some scenes drag as points are reiterated, but what family doesn’t wash and re-wash its dirty laundry? Scott Weinstein’s direction stays on top of the show’s pacing but his extremely horizontal staging comes with some poor sight-lines; some of the action is missed.
The performances support the well-drawn script; Pond plays a likable but tactless doofus who is blind to his plan’s negative impact; Logan’s patience is appropriately withdrawn when it counts. Gangel captures her character’s confusion; a sport that starts as a fun father-daughter activity becomes a burden she can’t shed. Edmonds is a stand-out here; his character’s efforts to be an anti-alpha are both comic and pathetic, but like the rest of his family, he’s smart enough to refuse to take one for the team. (Lisa Buscani)
At Redtwist Theatre, 1044 West Bryn Mawr, (773)728-7529. Through September 9.