Herb Gardner’s iconic play about two New York octogenarians and their meetings on park bench is wonderfully brought to life in Holladay at what may very well be the last fully staged production from Holladay Arts Council. But what a great show to go out on.
Before the show, director Jacob Bruner apologized for the sight lines, and that did make viewing difficult once the two leads sat on the bench. Still, being able to see them certainly didn’t diminish the performances of these two actors.
The two oldsters are played by Andrew Maizner (Nat) and Darryl Stamp (Midge), who both give such strong performances, it’s amazing that their supporting cast can keep up. Both men gave dynamic performances with strong nuances and multi-faceted characterization.
Standing out among the supporting cast were Kara Black as Nat’s long-suffering daughter, Clara, and Spencer Belnap as Cowboy, a drug dealer that the two oldsters try to fool.
I wanted a stronger performance out of Paul Chaus as Gillie the street punk. He just didn’t seem as commited to his actions, and that made him come off as weak, which made him unbelievable as a street tough.
This show has strong themes about aging, survival, classism, and what it means to truly live.
Holladay Arts presents I Am Not Rappaport March 18 – 26. www.holladayarts.com