MEET THE FRENCH FAMILY by Thomas Putnam
Typical, historically-standard American family. One female mother, one male father, two sons, one daughter-in-law. Father a pharmacist. Mother a librarian. One son a lawyer. One son a teacher. Daughter-in-law a therapist. Living in Delaware. Parents married for 50 years. The son and daughter-in-law expecting their first child. Parents recently moved into an independent living complex.
And then one night at a typical, historically-standard American supper (roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans...we don't ever get to dessert), “I want a divorce.” And from that moment on we explore a myriad of questions, most notably “Why?”
Divorce is not uncommon these days. But consideration of divorce after 50 years of marriage is. The desperate questions asked by the two sons and daughter-in-law seem to grow from a heretofore sense of close family and safety and comfort and security and sameness and the-parents-will-always-be-there-for-me as I go through all the stuff that I go through in my 30s and 40s.
Nope. It's time to grow up, kids.
Bess Wohl takes this potentially despairing and heartbreaking scenario and turns it on its head...and allows us to laugh. A lot. HG's next production is GRAND HORIZONS—kind of an ironic title, eh?--and we're having both a blast and some incredibly rich conversation about this situation. In fact, the conversation is so fascinating, that we'd like to invite you to join us. Every performance will have a pre-show introduction (we thought about calling it the “foreplay”), 45 minutes before curtain time; as well as a post-performance talk-back immediately following each performance. The script is fertile material to prompt some lively dialogue. Hope you can join us in the French living room.