Into this complacent household comes Ani (Mariah O’Brien), 25-year-old feature writer for the local paper, just promoted from the food section and out to write an article on this controversial author.
Upset to have been assigned to such an inexperienced reporter, Louise sets out to enlighten Ani, who’s perfectly happy dressing attractively and tending to her boyfriend.
The dialogue flies, characters develop interestingly and stereotypes are shattered as Louise and Ani confront one another while James pops in from time to time to intercede.
Lyman’s script shows real brains without being too literate for its own good; nobody drawn to this material in the first place will be confused by the numerous literary allusions.
However, some might be amused by James’ revelation that he hadn’t been exposed to such writers as Louisa May Alcott and Mary Shelley until he met feminist Louise — certainly he’d at least heard of “Little Women” and “Frankenstein.” Louise’s citing of groundbreaking American composer Amy Beach is more appropriate.
Some of the dialogue seems to give Kelly (a capable actor) trouble; no surprise, when he has to make lines like “We’re about to start a whole new life in many respects” sound spontaneous and conversational. Lyman, who wrote the words, has better luck with them; O’Brien’s lines aren’t so stilted.
Seemingly the least interesting character, the reporter reveals surprising depth as the play progresses.
Set designer Shelby Flint and decorator Julia Winston provide a comfortable apartment for the Ostermans, and Lark Lane gives Louise and Ani some snazzy, suitable outfits.
Assured direction is credited to first-timer Sharon Ernster.