REVIEW: ‘Thinner Than Water’ sparkles with the bloody truth | Movies | -- Your State. Your News.

Jul 06th
  • Login
  • Create an account
  • Search
  • Local Business Deals

REVIEW: ‘Thinner Than Water’ sparkles with the bloody truth

Water2021511_optLAByrinth Theater premieres a dandy new study in modern family ties


"Death and family brings out the worst," remarks Gwen, the wisest and saddest person in "Thinner Than Water," a sharp new play about three siblings behaving badly while their unloved father lies dying in a hospital.

An acridly funny study in modern consanguinity, "Thinner Than Water" opened Tuesday at The Cherry Pit, a snug 90-seat space in the far West Village sure to be packed once word gets around about this hot new show from LAByrinth Theater Company.

With many good works like "Jack Goes Boating" and "Our Lady of 12st Street" to its credit, LAByrinth presents new plays by new authors. Melissa Ross is the debuting playwright and offers here a dandy consideration of family ties that bind more tightly than people like to admit.

Starting with a woeful birthday party, Ross' story involves three half-siblings linked by the same neglectful father.

Renee (Elizabeth Canavan) is the stressed-out eldest, a middle-aged woman putting her not-so-patient husband (David Zayas) and kids forever on hold to deal resentfully with the vague ways of her brother and sister.

Gary (Alfredo Narciso) is the pothead middle child who lives in his mom's garage while idly working in a comic book shop. Cassie (Lisa Joyce) is the flaky youngest, a waif who keeps on breaking up with a long-suffering boyfriend (Aaron Roman Weiner).

Water1021511_optThe crisis is the imminent death of their father, which sparks different reactions. Exploding individually, they eventually realize their own similarities to not so dear and now-dead dad. His nice girlfriend Gwen (Deirdre O'Connell in a typically warm, wonderful portrayal) helps the sibs to get a grip and get back to their hopefully better selves.

Written in a dozen or so fast scenes, the two-act play is crafted neatly with embraceable characters trading spurts of funny talk. The insightful human truth behind their actions is rendered lightly and gracefully by Ross, whose laconic, casually profane conversations are a treat to hear.

Lent an extra glow by O'Connell's wistful radiance, the company brightly performs the play under Mimi O'Donnell's crisp direction. The fingertip intimacy of the staging makes the excellent acting appear all the more natural and delightful. Set designer Lee Savage and lighting designer Japhy Weideman create half a dozen locations fluently and minimally. Let's hope LAByrinth can extend the show's engagement so more people can take in Ross' fruitful and funny shaking of a contemporary family tree.

"Thinner Than Water" continues through March 6 at The Cherry Pit, 155 Bank St., New York. Call (212) 513-1080 or visit


REVIEW: ‘When I Come to Die' raises unanswered questions

REVIEW: ‘Lost in the Stars' shines darkly

REVIEW: ‘Three Sisters' evolve over the years

REVIEW: ‘The Witch of Edmonton' burns with feeling

REVIEW: ‘The Road to Qatar!' goes nowhere fast

REVIEW: ‘The Whipping Man' packs plenty of dramatic surprises

REVIEW: Jennifer Carpenter and Pablo Schreiber sustain ‘Gruesome Playground Injuries'

REVIEW: ‘Milk Train' makes a stop at Roundabout

REVIEW: ‘What the Public Wants' gets nicely Minted

REVIEW: ‘Knickerbocker Holiday' throws a musical Tea Party

REVIEW: ‘The New York Idea' not worth a New York minute

‘Spider-Man' way back when: ‘Jumbo'

REVIEW: ‘Cymbeline' gets a keen showing

REVIEW: ‘John Gabriel Borkman' seems a stranger at BAM

REVIEW: ‘The Importance of Being Earnest' offers a Wilde time

REVIEW: ‘Other Desert Cities' sizzles with great acting

REVIEW: ‘Blood From A Stone' drips with dismal doings

REVIEW: ‘A Small Fire' burns briefly

REVIEW: ‘Dracula' revival looks DOA

‘Spider-Man' spins widespread interest in Broadway

REVIEW: ‘Three Pianos' celebrates Schubert

REVIEW: ‘Donny & Marie — A Broadway Christmas' offers Osmond fans a holiday treat

REVIEW: Afghanistan agonies






Add your comment

Your name:

Follow/join us

Twitter: njnewsroom Linked In Group: 2483509