Bottom of the World
Heartbroken over the sudden death of her sister, Kate, Abby delves into the world of Kate’s final novel to deal with her grief and somehow move on. As the lines blur between the fictional world and her own reality, Abby attempts to make sense of life and death in this funny and poignant play.
Bottom of the World is at The New Atlantic Theater Company, which is a brand new space, and I will warn you up front, either get there early or plan to leave late because basically the theater, while very charming and very new, is essentially a bunker. So getting there, you can take the elevator down four stories, except you’re not aware it’s four stories. Coming back, when everybody’s getting out at the same time — I don’t know about you, I didn’t want to get into a crowded elevator, so I walked — it’s five stories! Gasp. At any rate, the play itself, it’s an interesting set and it’s not a bad idea, and it’s got some good actors in it. The problem is, it’s a story of a young woman who discovers her sister’s diary and it turns out her sister has been killed in a gruesome accident, which they go into in grievous detail during the first part. It’s basically only a one act play, but the first half of the play has almost nothing to do with the second act. The idea is that the sister wrote fiction that talked about she and her sister’s relationship, but made it two brothers, and wrote fiction. And so the younger sister is trying to get to know her older sister through the fiction. So part of it is that we see some of the shadow play that is talking about the fiction, and part of it is that we’re looking at the actual sister — the older sister talking with the younger sister and then also the younger sister’s life. It just seems a little complicated. It is further complicated by the fact that the younger sister is African American, but the older sister is Caucasian. I am certainly all in favor of colorblind casting, but this just complicates an already incredibly complicated situation, for nobody’s benefit. It really doesn’t make any sense and it just was enormously complicated. Well the acting was good, and there are a couple of scenes that are genuinely affecting. The confusion just overwhelms the play, so it only gets two stars.