Erin Joy Schmidt and Barbara Bradshaw played off each other in a magnificent and effortless symbiosis, with Schmidt as a Republican power couple's daughter — a liberal, once-successful novelist turned damaged soul whose proposed memoir will unburden sensitive family history. Bradshaw played her mother, a sharp-tongued intellectual mind tethered to selfish right-wing beliefs and an absolute need to keep her daughter's literary revelations locked and buried. These political and filial polarities came to a head in a number of epic verbal spats that were as difficult to sit through in their wincing verisimilitude as they were compelling in their train-wreck schadenfreude. Schmidt was heartbreaking as she was reduced to sniveling tears, and Bradshaw struck the great matriarchal balance of tender and monstrous. Director David Arisco positioned his supporting players on the edge of the frame while these two heavyweights duked it out in the center, and they essentially became, like us, rapt spectators to the spectacle.