A LIE OF THE MIND
A LIE OF THE MIND – Theater Review
Told in three acts set in the gritty American West, the story alternates between two families after a severe incident of spousal abuse leaves all their lives altered until the final collision at an isolated cabin. The two families, one composed of Baylor, Meg, Beth, and Mike, the other composed of Lorraine, Sally, Frankie, and Jake are connected by the marriage of Jake and Beth, whose beating and subsequent hospitalization at the hands of Jake initiates the beginning of the play. Exploring family dysfunction and the nature of love, the play follows Jake as he searches for meaning after Beth, and her family, as they struggle with Beth’s brain damage.
A LIE OF THE MIND is certainly the hot ticket in New York right because of the play has got Keith Carradine, Josh Hamilton, Laurie Metcalfe, Alsesandro Nivola, Frank Whaley, Karen Young, I mean a really great, great cast. And it’s written by Sam Shepard. Now, this is truth in lending. Sam Shepard is not one of my favorite playwrights. And, I’ll tell you what really does this play in as far as I’m concerned, even though I know it’s a hot ticket, it’s also directed by Ethan Hawke, which adds to the star power. But what does it in is the set. It is huge. It is overwhelming. It is from another play. And part of it may be the stage itself, but the set is clumped, it looks like a TGIF ceiling gone wild. It’s got chairs, and again, it looks from a different era. It’s a beautiful set, it just has nothing to do with the play. It overwhelms the story of two incredibly dysfunctional families that meet in tragedy, which is what Sam Shepard always writes about. I have really no complaint with the cast, per se, but I think that the — believe it or not, the set does the story in because it is so lofty and so huge and the story is about small, narrow-minded people fit for tragedy. And if it kept on a small stage, I think it would have worked better. So, even though this is the hot ticket and Peter Saarsgard and Maggie Gyllenhaal were sitting right behind me, in fact she would have forgotten her hat if I hadn’t mentioned it to her, and this is the hot ticket, I only give it two and a half stars because the set. Alright, I’ll give it three.