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Barry Gifford's new play

Wednesday, Apr 26 2000
Barry Gifford's new play puts him squarely in the school of writers who believe a story is good if Nothing Happens. This piece of semi-autobiography about a road trip has been carved from an upcoming novel and may also be filmed. (Gifford likes road trips; he co-wrote both Lost Highway and Wild at Heart.) I mean, why not? If you have nothing to say, but several avenues to say it through, why shouldn't you make as much money as possible? In play form, Wyoming is a soft-colored reminiscence of a mother, Kitty (Anne Darragh), and her kid, Roy (Alex Brightman), driving through America in the '50s. Kitty has just left Roy's dad behind in Chicago. She's affectionate, youngish, vain, and in denial about one or more aspects of her past. Roy keeps asking questions: When will we see Dad again? Why did you break up? Who's this guy we're going to see in Mississippi? Can we go to the reptile farm? They never arrive anywhere, though -- especially not Wyoming -- and after the first 60 minutes of this 90-minute show you're ready to shoot out their tires. Brightman is nimble and unaffected as Roy, Darragh does charming but uneven work as Kitty; the characters are strong and well defined. But Gifford forgot to make it entertaining.


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