Love and Mercy in New Rep’s “The Gift Horse”


By Michele Markarian


The Gift Horse, by Lydia R. Diamond. Directed by Jim Petosa. Scenic Design by Jon Savage, Costume Design by Penney Pinette; Lighting Design by Alberto Segarra; Sound Design by Dewey Dellay. Presented by The New Repertory Theatre, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown through May 14.


Ruth (Obehi Janice) is an energetic and engaging teacher and artist who is struggling to conceal, even from herself, a painful secret from her childhood. Once in college, she falls in love with, and then befriends, Ernesto (Alejandro Simoes), her gay neighbor. Ernesto and Ruth connect in all ways but one, but with Ernesto’s recommendation and support, Ruth is introduced to her therapist and future husband, Brian (Maurice Emmanuel Parent). Brian helps Ruth unravel the mystery of her inability to be intimate with a man, and despite Ernesto’s and Brian’s resistance to one another, they all manage to come together and create a different kind of family than the one Ruth grew up in.

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