Be A Good Little Widow @ Ars Nova Through May 14

Be A Good Little Widow at Ars Nova is another sparkling example of the stuff playing at spectacularly outfitted off-Broadway houses that you should run right out, right now, to see!

Written by Ars Nova artist-in-residence, playwright Bekah Brunstetter “Widow” commissioned for the theater on West 54th Street, is a perfect 90-minute one-act full of surprises, pinpoint accurate performances, humor and pathos. Just as I settled in thinking this was going to be a typical manner comedy of stiff mother-in-law bandying quips with flighty new daughter-in-law, we get a complete 360.

Brunstetter’s writing really is top-notch, her characters fleshed out and not a moment wasted. Stephen Brackett makes use of the one set stage, arresting lighting and music cues (Burke Brown’s lighting design needs to be especially applauded). As you’d expect, Jill Eikenberry reveals a range I dare say never tested in her T.V. work (at least not the stuff I have ever seen her in). Her Hope is vicious, funny, sad and endearing; Chad Hoeppner’s Craig is a masterful actor commanding the very space he breathes, you really can’t take your eyes off him; Jonny Orsini’s Brad is awkward and so loveable and Wrenn Schmidt’s tour de force as Melody is the center from which the play evolves.

Be A Good Little Widow runs through May 14 at Ars Nova (511 West 54th Street). For more information and to purchase tickets, go to  ARSNOVANYC.com

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