The tale gets even more bizarre. When John meets the 28-year-old Becky (Lisa Anne Porter), the woman blurts out the explanation for Dad’s overprotectiveness: Her breasts have been genetically engineered to provide milk that “can cure people with crippling illnesses.” One patient dependent on that healing liquid is her own Alzheimer’s-suffering mother (Kimberly Richards).
Love-struck John realizes that past salesmen have “disappeared” — killed by Harry when they tried to take Becky away. Thus begins a road chase, with John and Becky fleeing murderous Dad and disoriented Mom. Also on the trail are government agents seeking the magic mammary elixir.
As silly as this may sound (and the episodes with the president and first lady are pretty silly indeed), “The Pharmacist’s Daughter” grows ever more leaden as the situations turn more and more grotesque. The black comedy fails to click in Jonathan Moscone’s production, and the overall conspiracy scenario is too “X-Files” to shoulder the grim, accusatory weight the playwright intends. The play ends with a wheezing child offering us statistics on emphysema, a note that’s rather beside any already-muddled point.
Actor Niki Botelho makes a brassy, confident impression as a none-too-inconspicuous FBI agent, and Robinson, Soren Oliver (as John’s co-worker) and others are capable talents in bogusly conceived roles; Porter, as Becky, seems rather adrift. While design elements are up to standard, nothing makes much sense of the play’s contrivances, which come off more half-baked than provocative.