Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Marvin's Room. It was by Scott McPherson and it was directed by Sandy Shinner. It was about this woman named Bessie (Linda Reiter) and she was taking care of her Aunt Ruth (Deanna Dunagan) and her father Marvin (Larry Bundschu), and her sister Lee (Rebecca Jordan) has not been helping very much. Lee has two kids. One of them, Charlie (Kyle Klein II), is not doing well in school and one of them, Hank (Nate Santana), is in a mental asylum. So you can see some of the reasons she isn't helping her. Then Bessie gets cancer and she needs help taking care of her father and aunt and she needs someone's bone marrow. So she asks Lee and her sons to get tested to see if they can give her bone marrow and they come to visit her. I thought this was a great show. I found it super interesting and funny and sad. The actors were amazing and it made me think and I really loved it.
The doctors, Dr. Charlotte (Deanna Reed-Foster) and Dr. Wally (Don Tieri), were so funny but they also had to bring a lot of bad news, which was very sad. I feel like this is the perfect example of the funny and the sad being put together. Dr. Charlotte is so funny. One of my favorite moments is when Lee is talking to her because she is Hank's therapist. And Dr. Charlotte says to Lee, "You can't smoke in here" and is very skeptical of her the entire time. Lee never comes to visit Hank, so she is a pretty bad parent. Dr. Charlotte is really really exasperated with her. Then once Lee leaves, Dr. Charlotte gets out a pack of cigarettes and starts smoking, which I thought was hilarious. Dr. Wally's first scene was maybe his weirdest. He seemed like an insane and incompetent person and I wanted Bessie to run because I thought at any moment he might put on a ski mask and start stabbing her with syringes. He was creepy but he had a lot of funny one-liners. Like "That's what you get for hiring your brother!"
The Disney World scene is the scene where you realize how much Lee has changed in her parenting. At the beginning of the show she is mean to her sons all the time, but by the end she has seen a different side to parenting and actually thinks about what is best for her children. The way the family acted in this scene showed you the reality of Disney World; how everybody isn't happy all the time. Sometimes people throw their Coca-cola because they are unhappy. Aunt Ruth seems to be having a pretty fun time, but she is kind of oblivious to everything happening in the family. I also really liked the Gopher (Drew Schad). He was so funny and weird and danced around in the most awkward way possible.
Bessie was so fun to watch. She just had so much character and charisma and I really wanted to know her. When she found out that she had cancer, she reminded me a lot of my grandma. She was so courageous and not complain-y. The way that she interacted with Hank was so sweet. It seemed like she really did understand him. Bessie does lose her temper sometimes because she has so much responsibility, but you still love her because you know how hard her job is.
I also really loved Aunt Ruth because she was so carefree and funny. I felt like her voice was so cute. And she was always such a funny person with an old-fashioned view of the world, which I loved. She's obsessed with this soap opera and she dresses up to go to a wedding that she is seeing through a t.v. screen of people she has never really met. And Charlie did her makeup, which was so adorable.
People who would like this show are people who like courageous women, soap opera weddings, and awkward dancing gophers. I think people should definitely definitely go see this show. It is amazing, funny, sad--everything you want in a show. I loved it so much!
Photos: Michael Brosilow