And Miles to Go: in brief
Randy Danson plays a longtime teacher facing an uncertain future—as the NYC Board of Ed considers closing her run-down public school—in a new drama by Chad Beckim ('nami). Hal Brooks (No Child…) directs for Partial Comfort Productions.
And Miles to Go: theater review by Helen Shaw
Chad Beckim’s dramatic sketch And Miles to Go may make you sob, but as its emotional stakes intensify, you might start to miss the piece’s early phase—when it actually threatened to make you think. Miles starts as a farce about teachers and their embattled position on the front lines of economic depredation.
In a wonderful prologue, Ms. Priam (superb Randy Danson) harangues a panel threatening to close her school. Our system, she says, is “horseshit.” The play then turns Breakfast Club (the out-of-favor educator gets stuck babysitting troublemakers), and we inch toward something like comedy-as-critique. Abruptly, the work morphs into ripped-from-the-headlines horror (Priam must now defend her classroom-Troy), and while director Hal Brooks is efficient at eliciting tears, the play seems to retreat in terror from the plot twist. Dialogue slackens, characterization reverses toward cliché, and the work huddles in the dark—unwilling, suddenly, to keep talking about the enemy in the halls.—Theater review by Helen Shaw
THE BOTTOM LINE: A schoolroom comedy goes jaggedly tragic.
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