Two-actor comedy is a 70-minute collection of 20 vignettes detailing life of the fictional Reynolds family of Houston. Michael Caldwell and Rachel Winfree portray parents, children and occasionally non-family members in this quickly paced, witty and often touching series of skits.
Douglas and Grace meet cute in festivities celebrating the end of WWII; within minutes of stage time, they’re married and (with their infant son) on the verge of their first Christmas. But will they celebrate the holiday on Dec. 25, or the night before?
A few more minutes pass, and Douglas and Grace are the parents of two boys and a girl, whom the audience watch grow into adulthood.
Writing is pretty even, comedy-wise, with most of the pathos coming near the end as all three children meet individual setbacks of varying degrees of seriousness.
Highlights include daughter Valerie’s breathless account of her first rock festival (Santana and Leon Russell were the headliners); an older Valerie’s successful rebuff of sexual harassment by the office Lothario; son Jack’s speech at an awards banquet; and virtually everything involving son Bill.
Caldwell and Winfree are successful in varying degrees at creating original characters; she’s very reminiscent of Edie McClurg at times, and his Deeko (the sales manager hitting on Valerie) is perhaps too clearly patterned on Billy Crystal’s Fernando.
Often, particularly when playing the children, they’re spot-on. Play could easily be cast with several actors for other situations.
Tech credits are fine; excellent use is made of vintage music that rangesing from big bands to Gogi Grant to Iron Butterfly to Village People.