Thu Oct 18 2007
Time Out Ratings :<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5
Breaking up is hard to watch. Most of Kristen Palmer’s two-hander Departures takes place on the day before Cara (Keeley), a college student in England, is scheduled to return to America for good, leaving behind the heartbroken Andrew (York), with whom she has been shacking up for the previous few months. This being a play and Andrew being Irish, he is glibly verbose and drinks too much; she, on the other hand, is emotionally evasive because her father died when she was a teenager. (This is explained via a monologue about her dreams.) Performing on a thin river of stage with the audience in rising banks on either side, Keeley and York—directed with admirable intimacy by Kyle Ancowitz for Blue Coyote Theater Group—largely pull off their characters’ various transfers of neediness and power; yet although Palmer limns this tug-of-war realistically, she does so without the special insight that would make it move. The play is full of starts and stops, but doesn’t go anywhere.