4000 Miles To Reconciliation

Nicola Cavendish and Nathan Barrett. Photo by David Cooper
Nicola Cavendish and Nathan Barrett. Photo by David Cooper

In association with Centaur Theatre, the Arts Club is presenting Amy Herzog’s, 4000 Miles. Named a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for drama as well as Time Magazine’s number one play or musical of 2012, Herzog’s words bring a comical and charming story to the stage.

The story centers on Leo (Nathan Barrett), a young man who noisily stumbles into his grandmother’s New York apartment temporarily taking over her guest room while Vera, played brilliantly by Nicola Cavendish, eagerly does her best to accommodate him. As Leo’s stay extends, the two relatives create a tight bond that deems their seventy-year age difference irrelevant.

The beauty of this production stems not only from the words and story provided but also from the combination of solid acting, set and music. The stage is setup as Vera’s living room with the illusion of two bedrooms and a kitchen on the outskirts. In particular, I am drawn to the incorporation of the kitchen throughout the scenes. Sounds like the clinking of utensils, open and closing drawers and cupboards adds to the illusion of the apartment and provides authenticity. The music choices are also well put together. Incorporating tunes from artists such as Bob Dylan and Nas, yields to and strengthens the heartfelt tone of the play.

Nicola Cavendish’s performance is exciting and dynamic. Her quick comedic timing including spouts of hilarious physical comedy is delightful to watch.

Although the relationship between grandmother and grandson is central to the story, it is not the only one that is explored. Jessie Award nominee, Ella Simon, plays Bec, Leo’s ex-girlfriend. The break up drama, and possible reconciliation, between Leo and Bec is intriguing. I was often uncomfortable watching these scenes because I felt like I was infringing on intimate conversations not meant for my ears.  The honesty between the characters and their relationships is a true highlight.

Make sure you don’t miss 4000 Miles this fall at the Stanley Industrial Theatre, shows run until October 12th.