Tuesday, August 07, 2007

PLAY: "The Last One Left"

How do you once again tell the story of the child who sacrifices her own life to care for an ailing mother? By adding pirates. But not just sea pirates, robot sea pirates -- actually, Mexican robot sea pirates. And the mother, Ruth (Deborah Johnstone), she can't just be sick, she needs to be damaged by something really ludicrous, like a falling airplane part. Next, we'll have to bring home the favorite (i.e., only) son, Danny (Marco Formosa), so that this selfless daughter, Emma (Emily Clare Zempel) can really struggle with her inner guilt. You know what? Better add a younger sister, too: you know, Anna (Maria McConville), the idealistic kind who can't wait to become a lesbian, and possibly a vegan. And let's top the whole thing off with a twisted love story . . . Eddie (John Stillwaggon) is Danny's army buddy, and when he visits, he falls for both daughters. For all the incredulity embedded above, playwright Jason Pizzarello knows what he's doing: The Last One Left is a poignant and hysterical look at things as different as the blind trust of soldiers and the blind love of romantics, with sayings as epic as "Love is a ship that always sets sail in a storm," or as odd as "I smell running water and hear burnt toast." Dev Bondarin adds a rare touch of beauty to such a story with her quiet, musical transitions, not to mention a deft hand with the comic timing of the stylized, door-slamming farce within the romance within the drama within the play.

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