Walking to Waldheim

Walking to Waldheim" features a strong cast and sensitive directing, but we've seen its dimensionless, stereotypical family members before. An interesting premise -- family members dying one by one during a car trip -- with zingy, frenetic dialogue soon sours into a kvetchfest that never fulfills its promise.

With:
Hyman Goldblatt ... Fredric Cook Mina, his wife ... Helen Lambros Ralph, their son ... J. David Krassner Eddie Bromber ... Stanislaw K. Cybulski Yetta ... Esther Richman Zelda ... Gail Johnston

Walking to Waldheim” features a strong cast and sensitive directing, but we’ve seen its dimensionless, stereotypical family members before. An interesting premise — family members dying one by one during a car trip — with zingy, frenetic dialogue soon sours into a kvetchfest that never fulfills its promise.

Picture six of your least favorite relatives on a car trip to bury grandmother. As they ride, they have “cemetery talk,” discussing who wants various items and appliances from the deceased’s apartment. They also enjoy berating the driver’s abilities and sense of direction.

Then, they start dropping like flies.

Grandma’s husband, Eddie (Stanislaw K. Cybulski), follows her in death, so they discuss if his rent-controlled apartment should remain in the family. The two adult children, Zelda (Gail Johnston) and Ralph (J. David Krassner), can barely endure this kind of discussion.

Playwright Mayo Simon’s dialogue begins buoyantly but veers off into midsize, cliched laughs. Colorful family members become bland and beige. The result is as entertaining as a funeral.

Grandson Ralph will die next. Krassner does an exemplary job, trying to bring dimension to the underwritten character.

Helen Lambros, as Mina, gives a delicate portrayal as the overbearing wife who calls her husband Mr. Goldblatt. Fredric Cook brings warmth and believability to Hyman, who hasn’t spoken to his wife in years because he doesn’t want to interrupt.

Director Richard Hochberg uses the sparse stage, along with music, to create a timeless, at times surreal world.

Walking to Waldheim

(Theatre Geo, Hollywood; 99 capacity; $ 10 top)

Production: Geo Hartley presents a one-act comedy by Mayo Simon. Produced by Geo Hartley; associate producer, Arthur Cybulski; director, Richard Hochberg.

Creative: Lighting, Jim Call; costumes, Nancy Larson; sound design, Josh Machamer, Hochberg. Opened Dec. 5, 1993; reviewed Jan. 9, 1994; runs through Feb. 27.

Cast: Hyman Goldblatt ... Fredric Cook Mina, his wife ... Helen Lambros Ralph, their son ... J. David Krassner Eddie Bromber ... Stanislaw K. Cybulski Yetta ... Esther Richman Zelda ... Gail Johnston

More Legit

  • Joe Morton

    Joe Morton, Daphne Rubin-Vega Among Rebel Verses Guest Performers (EXCLUSIVE)

    Walking to Waldheim” features a strong cast and sensitive directing, but we’ve seen its dimensionless, stereotypical family members before. An interesting premise — family members dying one by one during a car trip — with zingy, frenetic dialogue soon sours into a kvetchfest that never fulfills its promise. Picture six of your least favorite relatives […]

  • The Lehman Trilogy review

    London Theater Review: 'The Lehman Trilogy,' Directed by Sam Mendes

    Walking to Waldheim” features a strong cast and sensitive directing, but we’ve seen its dimensionless, stereotypical family members before. An interesting premise — family members dying one by one during a car trip — with zingy, frenetic dialogue soon sours into a kvetchfest that never fulfills its promise. Picture six of your least favorite relatives […]

  • elizabeth perkins First Time in Variety

    Elizabeth Perkins on Her Early Film, Stage Roles

    Walking to Waldheim” features a strong cast and sensitive directing, but we’ve seen its dimensionless, stereotypical family members before. An interesting premise — family members dying one by one during a car trip — with zingy, frenetic dialogue soon sours into a kvetchfest that never fulfills its promise. Picture six of your least favorite relatives […]

  • 'Mary Page Marlowe' Review: Tatiana Maslany

    Off Broadway Review: 'Mary Page Marlowe'

    Walking to Waldheim” features a strong cast and sensitive directing, but we’ve seen its dimensionless, stereotypical family members before. An interesting premise — family members dying one by one during a car trip — with zingy, frenetic dialogue soon sours into a kvetchfest that never fulfills its promise. Picture six of your least favorite relatives […]

  • Bruce Springsteen on Broadway

    Bruce Springsteen Plays First-Ever Encore at Broadway Show (Watch)

    Walking to Waldheim” features a strong cast and sensitive directing, but we’ve seen its dimensionless, stereotypical family members before. An interesting premise — family members dying one by one during a car trip — with zingy, frenetic dialogue soon sours into a kvetchfest that never fulfills its promise. Picture six of your least favorite relatives […]

  • Orphan Black

    Listen: Tatiana Maslany Would Do an 'Orphan Black' Reunion on One Condition

    Walking to Waldheim” features a strong cast and sensitive directing, but we’ve seen its dimensionless, stereotypical family members before. An interesting premise — family members dying one by one during a car trip — with zingy, frenetic dialogue soon sours into a kvetchfest that never fulfills its promise. Picture six of your least favorite relatives […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content