Lights — but not much action

publicity photo for the play Lights

This isn’t a production shot, but it’s cool. (Photo of Susinn McFarlen by David Cooper)

On opening night, several people told me that they enjoyed Touchstone Theatre’s production of Adam Grant Warren’s new play Lights. I did not. I’m going to lay out my reasons, not because I’m trying to suck the pleasure out of anybody’s experience, but because I have faith that discussion and a variety of opinions can be helpful.

In Warren’s script, a guy named Evan flies to St. John’s to spend Christmas with his mom Nancy, who has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

The best thing about this play is that it doesn’t turn Nancy into a tragic figure who’s entirely defined by her illness. She’s witty. She’s a family member and everybody’s trying to figure out the next steps. Similarly, Evan’s wheelchair doesn’t define him, although issues do come up. He accuses Nancy of selfishness, for instance, because she insisted on raising him in a lovely house — full of stairs. [Read more…]

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