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EDISON, NJ—There are some wonderfully written stage-works that, for some reason, even after they become films, remain under the theatrical radar. Wendy Macleod’s ‘House of Yes’ is one of them.
Productions of The House of Yes remain far and few between.
It’s Thanksgiving, some thirty years after the JFK assassination in the Pascal’s McLean, Virginia home, located around the corner from the Kennedy estate.
Mentally ill “Jackie-O” is thrilled her twin brother Marty, the object of her obsession, has braved a raging hurricane to return home for the holiday.
His choice to arrive with Leslie, his new fiancée, is not sitting well with the unstable Jackie-O who has already shown a penchant for violence.
As this reviewer knows from experience, a mentally ill family member can sometimes have a tendency, through no fault of their own, to usurp the identities of the other members of their family. Delusional Jackie-O is no exception.
The Pascals have adapted their existences to accommodate Jackie-O’s needs before their own.
Mrs. Pascal, Jackie-O’s protective mother, is displeased with Marty’s engagement and wants Leslie to go. Marty, living away from the dysfunction of the Pascal home, sees Lesley as his path to normalcy.
Younger brother Anthony, however, sees Lesley from another angle. Whether his intentions are self-serving or a deliberate attempt to drive Lesley away from Marty is left to interpretation.
What ensues is a night filled with obsessions, the ultimate taboo, a possible hidden murder, and, of course, a tragedy.
Brian Remo admirably directed a talented cast that included Shiva Kiani, who delivered a wonderful Jackie-O. Kristine Stringer was first-rate as the rigid and conniving Mrs. Pascal.
Making his stage debut, and doing a great job as Anthony, was Robert Sidebottom.
Debbi Campanali was impressive as Lesly, the flustered, confused and unwanted outsider.
Craig M. Tiede’s engaging performance as the conflicted and tragic Marty, who desperately seeks to escape the dire abnormality of his family, was spot on.
Putting aside its cumbersome scene changes, Edison Valley’s production of House of Yes with its well-designed set, its fine cast, and its solid direction is highly recommended.
More information can be found at www.evplayhouse.com.