Stage Review

Too Much, Too Much, Too Many (2013)

TOO MUCH TOO MUCH TOO MANY James Rebhorn, Rebecca Henderson
Image credit: Joan Marcus
TOO MUCH TOO MUCH TOO MANY James Rebhorn, Rebecca Henderson
EW's GRADE
B

Details Opening Date: Nov 20, 2013; Lead Performances: Rebecca Henderson, Luke Kirby, James Rebhorn and Phyllis Somerville; Writer: Meghan Kennedy; Director: Sheryl Kaller; Genre: Drama

After the death of her husband James (Homeland's James Rebhorn), Rose (Phyllis Somerville) locks herself in her bedroom to draft her own obituary. Her 39-year-old daughter, Emma (Rebecca Henderson), enlists the local clergyman, Pastor Hidge (Luke Kirby), in an attempt to draw Rose out as they speak to her through the door. While Rose shows her grief most visibly, Emma is also reeling from loss — her father appears to her in the demented state of his final days, not as a flashback but as a ''living memory,'' according to the stage directions — and Pastor Hidge carries with him a tragic history of his own. Meghan Kennedy's Too Much, Too Much, Too Many — playing through Jan. 5 at Roundabout Theatre Company's Black Box Theatre — has a lot of things going for it. Wilson Chin has designed an economical little set that cleverly highlights Rose's separation from the rest of the world. The cast gives passionate performances — at my showing, Kirby had an outburst so violent that he accidentally shattered a glass oven door on set. But the whole adds up to less than the sum of its parts, mostly owing to the melodrama of Kennedy's script. Some of the quirks of Rose and Emma's mother-daughter dynamic — Rose has Emma read her a description of the discovery of James' body every night before bed — feel more affected than poignant. It's a play in which a character says of another, ''He's got loss in his voice,'' without a hint of irony. B
Originally posted Nov 20, 2013