Familiar Family

What did we learn during the holidays? Politics and turkey certainly do not mix, especially in the wake of a divisive presidential election. However, opposing political viewpoints and holiday ham work remarkably well onstage, particularly in Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities. Set in Palm Springs, California, Baitz’s critically acclaimed 2011 play unfolds over Christmas dinner with the Wyeths, a fictional family with GOP ties and more skeletons in its closet than Penn State University. But when daughter Brooke presents her parents, Polly and Lyman, with a gift — a manuscript of the memoir she’s written — those skeletons come to light. And Mom and Dad are none too happy. “Momentarily you buy into certain clichés: Oh, that’s the hippie drunk aunt. This is the mother that can’t love, that’s frozen in her social self-consciousness,” actress Rachel Griffiths, who played Brooke in Other Desert Cities on Broadway, told Playbilllast year. “And all the stereotypes exist momentarily, only to be dismantled to find three human and relatable people.”
Wednesdays, 2 & 8 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Jan. 16. Continues through Feb. 10, 2013

 
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