Of Good Stock
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Of Good Stock: Theater review by Raven Snook
As playwrights from Chekhov to Wasserstein have proved, putting three sisters in a well-appointed room is a solid recipe for drama. In Of Good Stock, directed by Lynne Meadow for MTC, rising writer Melissa Ross (whose superior Nice Girl just closed at the Labyrinth Theater Company) mixes in some laughs and insight, but overdoes it on the tears, clichés and whining.
The Stockton sisters—daughters of a late, legendary, womanizing novelist—gather at Dad’s gorgeous Cape Cod house to celebrate the 41st birthday of the eldest, Jess (Jennifer Mudge, excellent), a perfectionist grappling with illness and a strained marriage to food writer Fred (Kelly AuCoin). Youngest Celia (Heather Lind, unconvincing) is a flake with a new backwoods boyfriend (Nate Miller) and a bombshell; Amy (Alicia Silverstone, floundering in an underwritten role) is a shrill, weepy bridezilla with an overwhelmed fiancé (Greg Keller). In the course of one night, these ladies curse and drink like sailors, and deal with more baggage than a TSA agent. The play looks great; you may wish you could live in Santo Loquasto’s fancy rotating beachside home set. But although it’s presented in a designer package, Of Good Stock is off-the-rack family dysfunction.—Raven Snook
Manhattan Theatre Club (Off Broadway). By Melissa Ross. Directed by Lynne Meadow. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hr 15mins. One intermission.