The second scene, “rats,” takes place on the peaked roof of Mr. Phelan’s house, located near the waste site mentioned in the first section, where sisters Susan and Linda play word games while scanning the horizon for something coming their way. The final scene, “cats,” occurs on a barren white plain some distance from the Phelan house, though close enough for the girls on the roof to have seen the two travelers in this scene, a man in a wheelchair and his female companion.
Director Richard Caliban and designers Kyle Chepulis (sets), Anita Yavich (costumes) and Brian Aldous (lights) have taken advantage of Wellman’s imaginative situations to let their own creative juices flow. (All have collaborated with Wellman on previous shows.) The visual aspects of the play, including the occasionally wild gyrations of the performers and the glowing sets and costumes, are arresting even as the words begin to lose steam. Mike Nolan’s original music and sound design have a strong appeal.
The fine cast is unflagging in its ability to imbue Wellman’s sentences with a semblance of actual meaning. Greenspan deserves special notice for his oddly affecting portrayal of Mr. Glitter. Kristin Di Spaltro and Vera Farmiga are delightful as the roof-sitting sisters, and David Patrick Kelly and Joanna P. Adler are noteworthy as the weary wanderers who must sustain the evening’s final scene.