Richard Greenberg’s drama The American Plan, set at a lakeside home in the Catskills during the summer of 1960, is an engrossing play with interesting spins on love and identity. When a handsome young man swims across the lake from a nearby resort hotel, he sets in motion an escalating series of conflicts between a beautiful young heiress and her German-Jewish emigrant mother.
Lily Rabe is excellent as the fragile Lili meeting the demanding moments of the play beautifully. If her performance lacks shading it doesn’t really matter she displays much depth and is particularly effective in the evening’s final scene. Mercedes Ruehl’s over the top scenery chewing performance as her domineering mother Eva is a sight to behold, but her bold calculated portrayal leaves little room for surprises. Kieran Campion plays Nick, the flirtatious young writer for Time, who ignites Lili’s passion.
The play has elements of Tennessee William’s The Glass Menagerie – an overbearing mother, a delicate daughter, and an already spoken for gentleman caller- woven into the storyline of being trapped not only by birth, but by time and situation. When another handsome young man Gil, played by Austin Lysy, shows up revelations will spill forth in David Grindley’s Broadway revival of Greenberg’s well crafted tale for the Manhattan Theatre Club.
By: Gordin & Christiano
The American Plan opened on Broadway January 22, 2009 MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 West 47th Street. Tickets are available at HYPERLINK "http://www.Telecharge.com" www.Telecharge.com or by calling 212-239-6200 or the box office.