Larry wants to be the cool stepfather while Susan plays the role of the over-worried mother to a tee. There's an Odd Couple vibe to the action that culminates when they discover in Eric's journal that his only real vice is playing violent video games online with his friend Pete (Nick Vennekotter).
Susan sees this as alarming though and confiscates Eric's computer. But without it, Eric is cut off from his life. He's bullied at school, longs for girls who aren't interested in him, and therefore, like many more introspective teenagers, creates a world where he is king. In his case, it's quite literal as he has a "clan" that he guides to take over villages and whatnot. But without his computer, there's nowhere to channel his rage.
This is when he and Pete begin plotting an escape to California and the real trouble begins. It's painful to watch Susan be so obstinate and oblivious to her son's needs. Hood delivers a solid performance but Ayers doesn't give her a lot to work with. Susan, like many of the characters in the play, is a one-note drone. After a few minutes, it's excruciatingly numbing to listen to her and the others.
Towards the end, there are some charged moments handled well by Paul Dobie, and in these heated beats, Ayers shows that he has a knack for crisis dialogue. Unfortunately, his words fall flat the rest of the time.
-- Chris Kompanek