If you could walk back through your memories, what would you say that you never had the courage or hindsight to say at the time? A Kitchen Table allows Peter, a man on his sixtieth birthday, to revisit his childhood home and relive his adolescence. The play begins with the young Peter, played by Brian Louis Hoffman, removing cloth shrouds from the furniture in his family home. He lovingly runs his hands along the kitchen table and grips the sides of his father’s infamous chair. These artifacts are instantly endowed with the history of a family, its struggles and its unique love: the perfect setting for this play to evolve.
For his first full-length play, Peter Levine has created a poignant and humorous story. His dramatic device of a narrator blended with an ensemble creates a beautiful interplay between Bob Adrian, narrating the play as Peter at age sixty, and Brian Lois Hoffman, the Peter of his adolescence. Bob Adrian delivers his narration with such life and emotion that he is a pleasure to watch. But the show really stands out for its ensemble. Troy Miller has directed this ensemble superbly. Completing the ensemble is Robert L. Haber, the tough-loving father, Lué McWilliams, the curvaceous and bubbly mother, Michael Cuomo, playing a wonderful older brother-both the bully and the best friend, Jacqueline Sydney as the crazy aunt, and finally Geany Masai playing the delightfully sassy maid. This ensemble delivers the laughs throughout and in the end grips you in the heart as they reveal the lessons of a man’s life learned through finally gaining closure with his family and most importantly his father.
This play runs at United Stages and is presented by the Emerging Artists Theatre. A Kitchen Table is one of the three plays running in this year’s EATfest and it really fulfills Emerging Artist Theatre’s mission of fostering new playwrights.
This play and this playwright are something to watch out for!