A ‘Piece’ Not to Be Missed at DTC

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By Delaware Arts Info Guest Blogger Christine Facciolo – Christine holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees IN Music and continues to apply her voice to all genres of music. An arts lover since childhood, she currently works as a freelance writer.

Steve Bluestein’s play Rest, in Pieces — now in its World Premiere at the Delaware Theatre Company (DTC) — combines laughter and tears in a three-act, three-character dramedy that drives home an immutable law of nature: Life begins and ends with family.

Meet the Becker family of Brooklyn, New York: Leona, the unbearably overbearing matriarch; Ben, her long-suffering husband; and Steve, their mild-mannered comedy-writer son. The play is impressively acted by Donna Pescow (Leona), Lenny Wolpe (Ben) and Frank Vlastnik (Steve). These three seasoned thespians work Bluestein’s script with the precision of a Swiss timepiece.

This is a play for anyone who has ever wondered how their loved ones would react in the aftermath of their demise. Each act focuses on the remaining two members when one is removed. First, we see mother and son sparring as they cope with the loss of Ben, who seems to view his death as sweet relief from the insanely domineering Leona. Next, we watch as the two men resume their lives after Leona loses her battle with cancer. Finally, husband and wife come to terms with the sudden death of Stevie, their only child.

We get to know the family casually and — more important — intimately. Death has a knack for stripping away defenses. It’s a bit like those human-body exhibits that allow us to take a look — in astonishing detail — at the biological processes that go on without our control.

We see that death leaves a void that nothing can ever truly fill, that the living must go on no matter what, and that the life we’ve lived may not have been the life we intended or even wanted to live. But that’s OK too.

Rest in Pieces is a brilliantly written and riveting piece of theatre. Bluestein skillfully pairs razor-sharp repartees with moments of intense emotion, evoking both laughter and tears — often at the same time — from the audience. DTC executive director Bud Martin’s superb direction showcases the cast at the top of its form.

Rest in Pieces offers a sage piece of advice for anyone who has ever been at odds with a family member: Love your family as you love yourself. It’s a very short stay.

Don’t miss this one.

For more INfo on Rest, IN Pieces – click HERE.