Theatre Review: B Street's "Wishing Well"


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(Sacramento, CA)
Sunday, July 30, 2006


Natural disaster, in the form of a hurricane, is the backdrop in this comedy. The centerpiece is the tempestuous relationship between a mother and her dueling daughters. These North Carolina ladies have been at eachother for years. Much of the verbal sparring takes place at a wishing well, which in this story functions with reverse logic:  you toss a coin and make a wish, presuming that it’s not going to happen. Here’s a tense mother-daughter exchange – the daughter just dropped in a quarter, and secretly wishing her mother long life.

(excerpt from play)

That sharpness turns up in a lot of the dialog, but playwright Jon Klein gradually softens the hearts of all involved through a mind-boggling sequence of revelations and reversals, leading to, of all things, a happy ending. Maybe this is why this comedy is called “Wishing Well.” The show succeeds because the B Street crew knows how to make this sentimental switcheroo work – it’s very much a case of strong acting and direction wringing the most from the modest material.

 

"Wishing Well" runs at the B Street Theatre through September 10