By Sandi Durell
Taking place in the early 1920’s, The Lucky One (written by A. A. Milne) is a comedy that moves to more serious issues of emotional deprivation and brotherly resentment in the upper class English Farringdon family. Gerald (a cheery Robert David Grant) is the chosen one, favored by his family, friends and lifestyle afforded him as a member of the foreign service. His brother Bob – continually referred to as “poor old Bob” – (the dejected, whiny and immature Ari Brand) has a problem, a big problem.
Bob has been implicated in financial wrong doings, the result of a partnership gone awry (think Madoff), as he unloads it all on Gerald, telling him he (Bob) will probably be going to prison. However, he extracts a promise . . . that Gerald will not marry Pamela (the girl to whom Gerald is engaged) until Bob is released in two years. The reason will become quite evident.
In the meantime, the family members and friends go about their daily business — great aunt Miss Farringdon or Tabatha (a charming and knowing Cynthia Harris) is an ear for all, understanding more than what occurs on the surface. Sir James Farringdon (Wynn Harmon) and Lady Farringdon (Deanne Lorette) – father and mother to the boys are English façade. Friends Thomas Todd (Andrew Fallaize) and Letty Herbert (Mia Hutchinson-Shaw) add cuteness as young lovers who sneak kisses when no one is looking.
And then there’s the formidable Pamela (Paton Ashbrook) who is technically engaged to Gerald but accusatory of his inabilities to show genuine feelings and emotions. In the background, however, is Bob – rife with emotions – enough to distract Pamela so that when Bob is released from prison, an eruption of hostility between the brothers reaches unparalleled proportions.
The turn taken in Act 2 is surprising and is the meat and potatoes of this production which, in Act I, may tend to lull you into wondering what’s going on here other than a lot of snooty chatter about golf, social status and poor old Bob!
The cast is rounded out with Peggy J. Scott as the old nurse, and Michael Frederic as friend Henry Wentworth. Jesse Marchese directs this lovely cast of characters. Sets by Vicki R. Davis with costumes by Martha Hally.
So who actually turns out to be the Lucky One? You’ll have to come out to the Mint Theater at the Beckett Theatre 410 West 42 Street thru June 25 to find out!