The Mint Theater Company brings another excellent production to life with The Lucky One. Written by A. A. Milne before he was typecast as a children's writer, it is the story of two brothers and the effect of jealousy. As with every Mint production, it is a beautifully realized play with outstanding acting.
|Robert David Grant, Ari Brand - photo: Richard Termine|
Robert David Grant plays Gerald Farrindon, the sparkling brother. Gerald is handsome, athletic, smart and has success in his profession and personal life. Ari Brand plays Bob, "poor Bob". Poor Bob is the less attractive, shorter brother. He is less loved by his parents, less capable at work and less able to express himself. Paton Ashbrook plays Pamela, introduced first as Gerald's finance, and we learn first a friend of Bob's.
|Robert David Grant, Cynthia Harris - photo: Richard Termine|
The Lucky One begins at the Farrindon family estate, where Gerald and Pamela are announcing their engagement. We are introduce to the family, the mother and father dote on Gerald. It is one of those family's with a limited amount of love and support, so Bob barely receives a nod, much less his parents' affection. Only Aunt Tabitha (a charming Cynthia Harris) keeps an eye out for Bob, and offers help.
And Bob needs help. He is in over his head at work, quite possibly in legal trouble and comes to Gerald for help.
Mr. Grant does a wonderful job with Gerald. He wears a consistent grin, but it plays, at various times, as sly, noncommittal, friendly, devoted and angry. It is a great performance that takes a while to fully expose itself. You think of Gerald as the superficial twit for quite a long time. Ari Brand's Bob is harder to like. He has internalized the lack of support from his parents and turned it into a emotional scab that he picks at.
It is a very nice show, but it isn't a revelation. The Lucky One tells the tale of sibling rivalry that seems ordinary. It moves well from point A to B to C, but nothing really surprises here. Director Jesse Marchese does a good job, and the wit is sparkling - but not unexpected.
|Paton Ashbrook, Ari Brand - photo: Richard Tremine|
The Lucky One | Playwright: A. A. Milne | Director: Jesse Marchese | Cast: Paton Ashbrook, Ari Brand, Robert David Brand, Cynthia Harris, Michael Fredric, Andrew Fallaize, Wynn Harmon, Deanne Lorette, Peggy J. Scott, Mia Hutchinson-Shaw | Website