By Nick Hetherington When expectant parenthood is the theme to be discussed, a universality of fear, uncertainty even irrational thought process is something we have all experienced either as parents, or witnessed as friends of parents. It is the irrationality that we find most humorous and the most exposed part of our fears of the potential to fail, the hope to be simply, good. Add to that a modern day condition, cerebral palsy, multiple sclorosis and Autism as is the case of the expectant mothers sister Sarah, and you have the added concern, that suddenly makes raising a healthy baby, a luxury taken for granted. And so the exploration of capability begins. At first Sam, the 26 year old husband literally freaks out, but his concerns and hypothetical imaginings are anchored to the economy and his $100,000 student loans and the two years left at law school and Christ hes only 26 this was not the path and..., Lily, the wife, soothes him, calms his conventional lapses of reason. She gives him peace of mind "we can do this". Its as if she has forgotten, momentarily that she has a sister with autism, and even though their regulated life patterns have been derailed, they will push through and face the nursery-rhyme music. But when Sarah the sister arrives for her birthday dinner after almost being fired from her train-conductor position for insulting and pushing a customer for sleeping past her train stop, we are shown how ill-prepared Lily is, not so much Sam, to bare a child. For while it is patience and unconditional love that are arguably the best recipes for parenting, Lily suffers from a deficit of both these when applied to Sarah. And this relationship drives the play, bringing with it great pressure for the couple as Sarah unwittingly causes despair while she is herself unable to feel and have emotional responses in the way we all take for granted. It causes Lily to self destruct, as she despises her sister for who she is, and despises herself for how she treats her. The question remains, do they have the baby now? And if they do, what if it has a condition, can they handle it? The playwright Laura Brienza, has penned a worthy attempt to entertain with a modern and fresh theme of parenthood. She has an ear for genuine language. She has not created a hyper-stylized or hyper-real text. Instead this is a good kitchen sink drama. The whole team putting the production together gave themselves a difficult task to portray a character with a condition, and I say bravo for the result. Its not excellent. I think theres work to be done here. I was not all together convinced that the autistic tone, albeit Sarah is "low on the spectrum", was fully realized. But, Brenna Palughi who played her, gave a notable performance as she vibrated between detachment and uncontrollable outrage. Scared of Sarah Developed at the Lark Play Development Center and the Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival Writer: Laura Brienza Director: Reginald L. Douglas 1h 30m Local New York, New York Drama Drama
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