Theatre Review of LARRIES | The Tennessean

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A big thanks to our friend Amy Stumpfl of The Tennessean for sharing her theatre review of Nate Eppler's Larries. What did Amy think about Larries? Check out her reveiw below.

We’ve all played the game of “What If...?” What if America had lost the Revolutionary War? What if Kennedy hadn’t been assassinated?

Nate Eppler’s new comedy Larries takes the “what if” concept down to a more personal level, exploring the choices we make and the possibilities of the so-called multiverse.

Developed as part of Nashville Rep’s Ingram New Works Festival, Larries centers on an unhappily married woman named Wanda. Desperate for a fresh start, she sends her husband, Larry, a dicey ultimatum by email — have a baby or get a divorce. When Larry fails to respond, Wanda rushes home to discover that her actions have sparked a larger cosmic crisis — the multiverse has shattered, releasing multiple (or alternate?) versions of Larry on an unsuspecting Wanda.

It’s easy to get bogged down in the quantum physics angle, but there’s something in Eppler’s sharp dialogue and quirky humor that keeps the piece grounded. Producing Artistic Director René D. Copeland maintains a crisp pace, with help from a strong ensemble of Nashville Rep favorites.

Nate Eppler's Larries Production PhotoShannon Hoppe may have the most difficult task, breathing life into the self-absorbed Wanda. But she finds a way to make her character sympathetic — particularly in the play’s final scenes.

Meanwhile, David Compton, Geoff Davin, Tony Morton and Bobby Wyckoff illuminate the various versions of Larry with absolute conviction. Compton is well cast as the original Larry, delivering his lines with frenetic energy. Davin also is terrific as Evil Larry, sporting a goatee and an eye patch for good measure.

Morton takes on the meatier role of Single Larry, a thoughtful gent who never actually married Wanda in his reality. It would be easy to play the part with an air of superiority, but Morton is genuinely likable, and his deadpan delivery is spot on.

Wyckoff is hilarious as Heartbreak Larry, a hapless fellow who only realizes in retrospect how much he loves his wife. Wyckoff is delightfully smarmy, making the most of the role’s physical humor.

But it’s Amanda Card who scores some of the evening’s biggest laughs as Larry and Wanda’s college-aged daughter, Mackenzie. Full of caustic wit — and sage wisdom — Mackenzie serves as an intermediary of sorts, interpreting some of the finer plot points with style. Card is more than up to the task, working each line to perfection.

Gary C. Hoff demonstrates his artistic finesse, creating a set that enhances the action with multiplying doors. Phillip Franck’s lighting and Ricky Lighthall’s sound add to the otherworldly effect.

Act II occasionally loses focus as the script works to balance outrageous humor with weighty introspection. On one hand, Larries is a farce — complete with slamming doors. But this dark comedy has some serious things to say about life and relationships.

Best of all, Larries reminds us of the strength of Nashville’s burgeoning theatre community and the importances of programs such as the Ingram New Works Lab.

Read more of Amy Stumpfl's review here. Nashville Rep's production of Nate Eppler's Larries run is Sept. 7 though Sept. 21, 2013 at TPAC's Johnson Theater. Please click here for tickets and more information about Larries.

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