TV on the Stage

Riverdale, New York, present day. A Jewish-American father slowly isolates himself from his family. The culprit? Black-and-white television. What begins as a comic premise in the vein of Woody Allen soon turns into a tightly wound drama in the style of Tenessee Williams in local playwright Jim Tommaney’s The Tarnished Bell. Author of 13 full-length works and seven one-acts, Tommaney has been producing his own and others’ shows at the Edge Theatre for the past 15 years. He describes his newest play as both “sarcastic and cerebral” and his main character, the patriarch of a hyper-educated family, as deeply driven by a moral concern for the direction his country has taken. “[The play] touches on string theory and the space-time continuum,” Tommaney says, noting that his primary literary inspiration came from the British novelist Ivy Compton-Burnett, who wrote entirely in dialogue. So for theatergoers looking for an avant-garde sensibility with a powerful emotional wallop, you’ve found your match.
Sun., June 21, 7 p.m., 2009


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