Walter Cronkite Is Dead

Take two opinionated women of politically opposite stripes, confine them to an isolated corner of an airport during an endless weather delay, and what do you get?

With:
Patty Sherry L. Edelen Margaret Nancy Robinette

Take two opinionated women of politically opposite stripes, confine them to an isolated corner of an airport during an endless weather delay, and what do you get? In the facile hands of director-writer Joe Calarco, a charming little play called “Walter Cronkite Is Dead” about the common ground we Americans might discover if we’d stop all the shouting.

Calarco, currently an artistic associate at Signature, is a seasoned director with more limited experience as a playwright (“Shakespeare’s R&J”). Both talents are on display in this piece specifically written for busy D.C.-based actors Nancy Robinette and Sherry L. Edelen. Calarco the writer demonstrates impressive maturity with his lively and insightful dialogue, while as a director, he gets maximum mileage from subtle glances and flares of contempt.

Robinette plays taciturn intellectual Margaret, whose solitude is broken by Edelen’s shrill and babbling Southerner, Patty, who is seeking the vacant seat at her table. That the two middle-aged women won’t hit it off is clear from the outset, but as a rambling and frequently funny conversation unfolds, tempers flare over Margaret’s affection for the Kennedys and other politically charged issues. Yet as deeper personal travails surface over a bottle of wine, each concludes the other is not a monster after all.

Believable? Well, not really, especially Edelen’s overtly caricatured Tennessean, who is hardly conservative America’s best spokesperson.

But so what if today’s real political confrontations aren’t so easily resolved? The play’s sermon against demonizing those with whom we disagree couldn’t be more relevant. And with its disarming approach to the topic, this inexpensive play should have strong appeal for regionals and beyond.

Walter Cronkite Is Dead

Signature Ark Theater, Arlington, Va.; 100 seats; $76 top

Production: A Signature Theater presentation of a play in one act written and directed by Joe Calarco.

Creative: Set, James Kronzer; costumes, Kathleen Geldard; lighting, Chris Lee; sound, Matt Rowe. Opened Nov. 14, 2010. Reviewed Nov. 16. Runs through Dec. 26. Running time: 90 MIN.

Cast: Patty Sherry L. Edelen Margaret Nancy Robinette

More Legit

  • Allelujah! review

    London Theater Review: 'Allelujah!' by Alan Bennett

    Take two opinionated women of politically opposite stripes, confine them to an isolated corner of an airport during an endless weather delay, and what do you get? In the facile hands of director-writer Joe Calarco, a charming little play called “Walter Cronkite Is Dead” about the common ground we Americans might discover if we’d stop […]

  • A Monster Calls review

    London Theater Review: 'A Monster Calls'

    Take two opinionated women of politically opposite stripes, confine them to an isolated corner of an airport during an endless weather delay, and what do you get? In the facile hands of director-writer Joe Calarco, a charming little play called “Walter Cronkite Is Dead” about the common ground we Americans might discover if we’d stop […]

  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

    'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' Stage Musical in the Works

    Take two opinionated women of politically opposite stripes, confine them to an isolated corner of an airport during an endless weather delay, and what do you get? In the facile hands of director-writer Joe Calarco, a charming little play called “Walter Cronkite Is Dead” about the common ground we Americans might discover if we’d stop […]

  • Joe Morton

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

    Take two opinionated women of politically opposite stripes, confine them to an isolated corner of an airport during an endless weather delay, and what do you get? In the facile hands of director-writer Joe Calarco, a charming little play called “Walter Cronkite Is Dead” about the common ground we Americans might discover if we’d stop […]

  • The Lehman Trilogy review

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

    Take two opinionated women of politically opposite stripes, confine them to an isolated corner of an airport during an endless weather delay, and what do you get? In the facile hands of director-writer Joe Calarco, a charming little play called “Walter Cronkite Is Dead” about the common ground we Americans might discover if we’d stop […]

  • elizabeth perkins First Time in Variety

    Elizabeth Perkins on Her Early Film, Stage Roles

    Take two opinionated women of politically opposite stripes, confine them to an isolated corner of an airport during an endless weather delay, and what do you get? In the facile hands of director-writer Joe Calarco, a charming little play called “Walter Cronkite Is Dead” about the common ground we Americans might discover if we’d stop […]

  • 'Mary Page Marlowe' Review: Tatiana Maslany

    Off Broadway Review: 'Mary Page Marlowe'

    Take two opinionated women of politically opposite stripes, confine them to an isolated corner of an airport during an endless weather delay, and what do you get? In the facile hands of director-writer Joe Calarco, a charming little play called “Walter Cronkite Is Dead” about the common ground we Americans might discover if we’d stop […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content