The performers, too, walk that difficult line between sincerity and caricature, tossing off such Ruhl-book non sequiturs as (mom to soothing Jean) “You’re like a very small casserole” with aplomb. Neil McGarry brings a hint of the grotesque but also a hint of Gene Kelly to debonair, unsavory Gordon, who may start the play DOA but is resurrected for a post-mortem monologue full of buttoned-down rage, self-justification, and encomiums to lobster bisque. Jeff Mahoney is an enthused, childlike Dwight, Jessica D. Turner a glam vamp of an Other Woman, and Beth Gotha a groomed yet guttural, self-occupied Mrs. Gottlieb. As Gordon’s angry wife, Hermia, Bryn Jameson carries off a sadly hilarious set piece in which her character drunkenly confesses sex fantasies as she imagines not her partner but herself to be someone else. And at the center of Ruhl’s connection-pondering, Heaven-hopping orbit is Liz Hayes’s gray-clad, mobile-faced, tentative yet inventive Jean, who finally hears the jumbled music of the spheres and, like the perennial figure in a Jules Feiffer cartoon, dances to it.
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