“Next Fall” Performs @ The Waterfront Playhouse (Konk Life)

“Next Fall” Performs @ The Waterfront Playhouse (Konk Life)

Posted Mon, Feb 16, 2015 in Reviews

By Diane Johnson

Powerful, contemporary and infused with love the dramatic production “Next Fall” is now playing at the Waterfront Theatre.

This provocative show written by Geoffrey Nauffts is based upon a true story, one this playwright experienced first hand. “Next Fall” opened on Broadway in 2010. Since then, it has been nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play and received the Outer Critics Circle Award for best New Play. Murphy Davis skillfully directs a talented cast who deliver the show with finesse, moving the audience gently between moments of laughter and tears.

Adam McLaughlin’s performance as Adam was poignant and emotional as Luke’s lover, a man half his age, played by Trey Gerrald. Both men come from different worlds. One man is a devout Christian who prays after sex. The older man openly discusses whatever is on his mind but has allowed his worrying to turn him into a hypochondriac. Adam is comfortable in his choice of sexual preference while Luke is afraid to tell his parents. Their arguments are reminiscent of a married couple or for that matter any couple involved in a committed relationship. The spark between these two actors is infectious !

Bob Bowersox is Butch, Luke’s father whose tough exterior protects a tender loving heart. His portrayal may be that of a narrow minded stereotype, but his immersion in the role is so complete he makes it come alive and his performance brought tears to my eyes. Annie Miners is Arlene, Luke’s mother, whose constant chatter and appearance of superficiality gives way to a caring transformation that accepts and understands Adam and Luke’s relationship. Her acting skills are superb and reflected a spectrum of emotions from self-centered silliness to heartfelt grief. Nicole Nurenberg portrays the character of Holly, the owner of a candle shop who used to employ Adam. She is the friend, philosopher and sweet person who provides support to everyone in the cast. Kaleb Morgan Smith is Brandon, who makes his Waterfront debut with the production of Next Fall. He too is gay but not ready to come out of the closet and does not believe he is deserving of real love. Michael Boyer’s set design is simple and perfect, taking us from the hospital waiting room to apartment with just the smallest movement of props. David Bird managed the lighting, creating a fitting ambiance for the scenes.

The message is clear. Whether you are gay or straight, Christian or Jewish we are all human beings who need to be loved and have a right to choose our own lovers. There are many people who find comfort in their faith. Unfortunately, there are others who use religion to deny people equality and basic human rights. We are confronted with the unfair treatment of homosexuals whose experience with the medical community is painful, when only family members are allowed into the hospital room.

“Next Fall” is playing at the Waterfront now through February 28th. For tickets call the box office at: 305-294-5015 or go on line at: www.waterfrontplayhouse.org


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