Silver Spring Stage presents Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz, directed by Bridget Muhlberger and produced by Seth Ghitelman, juicy and surprising drama with humor of a writer returning home to Palm Springs announcing she's publishing a memoir that dredges up a pivotal and tragic event in the family's history. Other Desert Cities will perform weekends through April 27, 2014.
Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday April 27 at 2:00 PM.
Tony Award and Outer Critics Circle Award winner and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Other Desert Cities is the most accomplished play to date by Jon Robin Baitz. Known for plays The Substance of Fire, A Fair Country, The Paris Letter and creator of the television show Brothers and Sisters, he has frequently explored the dynamics of family and the choices we make in life. The title itself refers to highway sign on interstate 10 in California that indicates the direction to "Other Desert Cities" in the area. Other Desert Cities delves artfully into political differences and the boundaries of privacy. He originally entitled the play "Love and Mercy". He commented on that theme by saying: "in order to forgive yourself, you have to first come to terms with all the things you don't know and all the assumptions you've made, which is an active part of this play. To me, also, on a profound level, the play is about the emergence of humility in human nature and how vital that is." Amid these powerful themes, he creates indelible and genuine characters, rich in humor and pathos. He has crafted a play with dialogue that glimmers and a story line with enticing mystery to captivate audiences in laughter, surprise and feeling.
It's the morning before Christmas 2004 where the family of Polly (Jane Squier Bruns) and Lyman Wyeth (Bill Hurlbut), members of the Republican establishment, gather in Palm Spring, California. The Iraq war is raging, and daughter Brooke Wyeth (Andrea Spitz) returns home after six years. Also on hand are Brooke's younger brother Trip (Henry LaGue), a reality TV producer, and her alcoholic, loose cannon, recently out of rehab aunt Silda (Malinda Smith), a liberal former screenwriter. Brooke announces to her family that she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a traumatic and tragic event in the family's history -- a wound they don't want reopened. That event is the suicide of her late brother Henry, who had been involved with the radical underground subculture. Whether the family stays together or falls apart, Other Desert Cities is a thrilling experience.