by Susan George
Lost Girls – Written by John Pollono; Direction and Stage Design by Melanie Garber; Lighting Designer: Michael Clark Wonson; Sound Designer: Audrey Seraphin; Costume Coordinator: Mikey DiLoreto. Presented by Take Your Pick Productions, at Deane Hall in the Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St., Boston through January 21.
Next time you are thinkin of hittin’ Maaket Basket or the packy, bang a u-ey and instead head ovah and snag a ticket for a performance of John Pollonos’ amazingly poignant “Lost Girls”. Successfully following up last year’s fabulous “The Little Dog Laughed,” Take Your Pick Productions returns to the local stage with this superbly cast and divinely staged tragicomedy, directed by Melanie Garber.
Appropriately set in the wintery city of Manchester, New Hampshire (complete with stormy sounds and high winds), this story of family generational patterns and drama keeps you guessing ‘What’s next?’ Or more importantly ‘WHAAAT HAPPENED’?
The production places us in a tiny kitchen, with frantic Maggie (Audrey Lynn Sylvia), a 30 something single Mom who just cannot seem to get a break from being a “ Loozah” – especially after her car gets stolen when she’s gotta get to work. Her foul-mouthed New England accent and feisty attitude lets it all out as her frustrated, financially strapped single Mom character struggles in the worst of times. She cannot seem to rise above it all and always seems to be taking ten steps back no matter what she does. Her problems are rooted in her past, present and in her codependent relationship with her critical live-in mother.
Linda (Christine Power) plays Maggie’s bitter to the core middle-aged mother, who throws a powerful punch of anger and pain that spills into Maggie’s guarded lifestyle. Misery loves company, and the two women carry the dark trait of loss of self to the limit, and Maggie’s teenage daughter follows suit.
The delicate topics of trauma, addiction and survival are all strategically meshed into this unique piece with all of the characters displaying the effects in some fashion. Lou (Terrence P. Haddad), is Maggie’s ex-husband and struggles with all of the above, and we feel his pain throughout the play.
The audience is taken on a high voltage rollercoaster ride of emotion with Lou’s relationships to the women as he appears at Maggie’s doorstep to learn that her car was stolen by their 16-year old daughter and a friend. Underneath, Lou is like a top getting ready to spin out of control, but he manages to keep it in check – even in the bleakest hours in the worst whiteout imaginable – with the support of his spiritually driven young wife Penny (Lauren Fosterwho delivers an outstanding and steadfast performance). Penny proves to an unexpected anchor of reason that opens the closed minds of this otherwise dysfunctional and anger-riddled posse.
If the teenage minds were as pure as the fallen fresh snow, there would be no Erica (Lesley Anne Moreau) and her boringly doting admirer (Zach Winston). The two teens reveal secrets during their runaway road trip to a seedy Connecticut motel that soon opens up a whole different dimension of the plot.
The fast paced intrigue of this hysteria-based drama rife with hidden family secrets will captivate your mind along with its Matchbox of discoveries along the way.