Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Little Sheba Comes Back!
Photo Courtesy of The New York Times
Recently, I saw another Broadway play, this time it was "Come Back Little Sheba," starring S. Epatha Merkerson. Known for her role on NBC's Law and Order, Merkerson plays a faded beauty queen named Lola in this dramatic revival first made popular back in 1950.
Set in a fictional Midwestern town over half a century ago, the show revolves around the character, Lola, who is a frumpy, middle-aged, yet childlike wife of a recovering alcoholic. The play explores the depths of her insecurity, regret and loneliness. Lola is a needy and sometimes annoying woman who desperately yearns to feel loved and wanted by her husband.
Merkerson's strength as a theater actor is truly exemplified in this role. Her expressions and spellbinding intensity successfully conveys to the audience her sorrow and dismay as if it were their own. Her co-star and veteran Broadway actor, Kevin Anderson's portrayal of Lola's alcoholic husband is also quite riveting. He sets the tone for this emotional rollercoaster with his subtle, yet perfectly executed gestures and speech that are akin to real alcoholics and substance abusers. The supporting cast also gives commendable performances and provides humorous spurts throughout the otherwise very serious show.
Even though this domestic drama boasts outstanding performances by seasoned actors, the overall plot couldn't hold my attention throughout the 2-hour show. If "Little Sheba" comes back to Broadway years from now, I'm not so sure I'd come back to see it.
"Come Back Little Sheba" is currently showing at the Biltmore Theater, 261 W. 47th Street in New York City. For ticket information call Telecharge at (212) 239-6200.