Think of the Midwest, and men with factory jobs. Think of factories closing. Now picture a guy called Uncle Donny, an amiable, beer-drinking slob without a future, who nonetheless has a song in his heart.
“I got a girl, and Donna was her name….”
Let’s pause for a consumer advisory – Uncle Donny sings too much in this play. But back to the story. Uncle Donny’s teenage nephew is in trouble with the neighbor.
It’s domestic comedy, including several earthy words you can’t say on the radio. But writer Busfield has nonetheless modeled his play after Dickens, particularly the concept that ordinary lives are precious. The lighthearted opening scenes give way to a tense family crisis in the second act, as fate strikes at a major character. But after a brief, celestial intervention, a happy ending blossoms out of the darkness, all the sweeter after the brush with despair that came before. The warm and fuzzy finale, however, didn’t entirely convince this reviewer. In fact, I’d invite the playwright to revisit the last scene and make a few adjustments, because until that point, it’s a good little play.
Jeff Hudson, KXJZ News.
“Throwing Parties” is at the B Street Theatre through December 31st.