Parity Productions’ world premiere of Charlie’s Waiting by Mêlisa Annis opened tonight at Theaterlab, 357 W 36th Street.
The play follows pregnant Louise (Xanthe Elbrick) on the eve of her wedding to Kelly (Stephanie Heitman). Already on edge, Louise is entertaining Annie (Stephanie Heitman) an old friend of Kelly’s. It seems when they were 16 and the poorest kids in the neighborhood, Annie’s father and Kelly had an affair, which resulted in a son. For the past 8 years and 4 months Annie has taken care of the child. Finally a chance of happiness has arrived for Annie and she has brought Charlie back to his mother. Annie has never had a chance to have a life, as Kelly disappeared soon after Charlie was born and other circumstances saw Annie barely this responsibility. Thanks to a wedding announcement, Annie has a chance to not be responsible for her friends and father’s mistake.
Louise has never been told this part of Kelly’s life nor does she want any part of it. When Kelly returns will Louise tell her what has transpired? Will they confront the unspoken issues between them? Charlie is in a car freezing, will anyone put him first? Sadly this is not addressed and because of it, this well written play, feels half finished.
Tony nominee Xanthe Elbrick (Coram Boy, Candida), Stephanie Heitman (A Snowfall in Berlin) and Amy Scanlon (Balladeers Play to the Moon), are all at the top of their game thanks to the wonderful direction by Ludovica Villar Hauser.
The production design team of set, costume, and props by Meganne George, lighting design by Miriam Nilofa Crowe and sound design by Caroline Kittredge Faustine are also well done, especially for such a small space. They have made it feel cosy and open.
In an age of MeToo, this play is a huge reminder that we are so self absorbed and so into our own happiness, that everyone else be damned. I do look forward to seeing this play expand and truly get into the issues, while opening up our discussions.
Charlie’s Waiting : Parity Productions at Theaterlab, 357 W 36th St. until April 20th. Use code PARITY for $5 off General Admission tickets.
Parity Productions is a New York-based theatre company dedicated to producing new work and filling at least 50% of the creative positions (playwrights, directors, and designers) with women and/or trans and gender nonconforming (TCNG) artists.