Long Way Down
Written by Nate Eppler
Directed by Steve Jarrard
This is a dark play. Set in a small town north of Nashville, in a run-down family home, one sister in jail, another mentally challenged, and the third, with forlorn husband in tow, controlling and abusive. Add to this a religious maniac for a family friend hell bent on saving the town's babies from their terrible families and you have all the ingredients for mayhem and disaster.
“The Long Way Down” is all about what can happen when we wallow in our own misery, and in this particular story it certainly is true that misery makes for very strange bedfellows. Written by the award-winning playwright Nate Eppler, “Long Way Down,” which refers to how far it is from heaven to earth, speaks to our basic need for good to win over evil and for some semblance of balance to exist in our world, however much it might be falling apart.
A good deal of effort has been spent on the staging of this play and to great effect. The set creates a very real sense of place and really sustains the performances. The inventive and sometimes shocking direction was equally impressive.
Lauri Hendler (l.) Meg Wallac
Each and every actor in this piece is perfect for their roles. In such a dramatic and often distressing play, casting well is all the more imperative. “Long Way Down" is superbly cast and they all spin this story brilliantly.
This play is not for everyone, and it takes a brave company of actors to take it on and to do it justice. I think perhaps the theme of the play is a metaphor for the lunacy at large in our world right now, and our hopes for that lunacy to have some meaning is maybe the point, But, in the end, every piece of art we see becomes what is most often in our own minds.
There is some violence and some disturbing subject matter, so be aware, but what does occur is not just for effect exactly and it works within the context of the story very well. “Long Way Down” is a bit of a puzzle and a challenge at times. I’m still dwelling on it days on from the show, but the heart of it is profound and real. Isn’t that what makes good theatre?
“The Long Way Down” is playing at The Sherry Theatre, 11052 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, 91601.
Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 7pm
Christa Haxthausen, Lauri Hendler, Meg Wallace and Lane Wray