Philip Goes Forth: in brief
The dramatic excavators of the Mint dust off George Kelly's 1931 comedy, about a young man who spurns the family business to write plays in New York City. Jerry Ruiz directs.
Philip Goes Forth: theater review by Diane Snyder
George Kelly (Grace’s uncle) had a blast satirizing theatrical aspirants in 1922’s The Torch-Bearers. He was even more didactic in 1931 with the silly-serious Philip Goes Forth, which presents its message about the unassailable commitment necessary for the artistic life, and underscores it several more times in case you missed it. The most rewarding moments of this play—about a father-son feud that pushes the latter to move to New York to become a playwright—come when the title character is on the sidelines.
Philip (Bernardo Cubría) is motivated by rebellion, not literary acumen, and Kelly perspicaciously cautions about such a dangerous choice. But he displays too much affection for misguided Philip to sting him with satire’s bite, and not enough to color in his outline. Instead, we get laughs from Carole Healey’s extravagantly overblown society lady, and look to Kathryn Kates’s sapped trouper-turned-landlady for pathos. But director Jerry Ruiz slips while trying to balance the contrasting qualities of a neglected play that deserves its fate.—Theater review by Diane Snyder
Follow Diane Snyder on Twitter: @DianeLSnyder
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