To EachTheir Own Review – Life is not what it seems
In a way, Tracey Knight Narang is like a lot of us. She had a dream that one day she would write a play. Some of us might want to write a book. Others dream to travel around the world. But, TraceyKnight Narang made her dream into a reality. That’s not only great for her, but wonderful for those of us who had the opportunity to see her dream come true at the NYC Fringe Festival, August 17th.
I knew we were in for a treat when we wound up at the end of the long line of anxious patrons who were all very excited to see Tracey’s dream show, “To Each Their Own,” playing at the Teatro SEA at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, and NYC. The show was sold out!
Tastefully directed by Charles E Gerber who has directed critically acclaimed productions of Macbeth and is a Founding Member/Artist of Workshop Theater Co., along with his late wife, Carol Bennett Gerber.
To Each Their Own stars Elizabeth Inghram, Tom Berdik, C.K. Allen, Catherine Frels and Sandra Karas. The names may not sound familiar, but keep your eyes and ears open, these fine actors have great talent.
“To Each Their Own” is a delicate play about family relationships. I know you are thinking, ‘another family relationship show’ but, alas, it is not. Well, it is, at the beginning, when you sit in a cozy theater and watch the small ensemble of 5 actors interact with each other about, what most of us would think is, everyday issues.
Sitting in a comfy living room, we have a maybe pregnant Liz (Catherine Frels), her husband, John (Tom Berdik) adverse to any type of genetic testing, the business partner, Nate (C.K.Allen) who is more like family. There’s the perfect-body sister, (Elizabeth Inghram) who you love to hate because she complains about what most people would die for, like sending your kid to boarding school, so you can play golf and write books called, ‘Yummy Mummy.’ We have the mother-in-law, Helen (Sandra Karas), who is the Upper East Side crust of a woman as she says what she feels without giving the recipient a thought no matter who the recipient might be.
Seems like a typical family, so typical in fact, that you can place yourself comfortably into any of their shoes. For me, I have to say, I must step into the intruding mother-in-law, because I’m way too old to be pregnant and am far enough to the perfect body to not even relate.
Here is where “To Each Their Own” gives you a jolt. Yes, we all have family secrets. But the family secrets THIS family has are, shall we say, above and beyond most. I won’t spoil it for you, as I am hoping you will find the opportunity to see this little gem as it plays again, August 20th, 24th, 29th and 30th.
The story of this family and their secrets as they come to light is provocative, deceitful, shameful, shocking and unforgiveable. As these ‘issues’ are discovered, the family is torn apart with no resolution in sight. As most of us know, you have to reach the pinnacle of anger, frustration and truth in order to even begin to heal.
The healing process is painful, and for some, might not be worth the pain. Yet, Ms. Knight Narangdoes a striking and heartfelt job of putting all the puzzle pieces together after there seems to be no hope to do so.
As she states, in her own words, ‘To Each Their Own has been a labor of love between carpools, homework, school concerts, PTA meetings, sports games, volunteer work, cooking, cleaning and all of the other things we do as parents. I’ve always wanted to write a play but life, as it often does, got in the way. A few years ago after turning a certain “mature” age I knew that if I didn’t start writing a play that I never would. Many naive mistakes were made along the way that helped pave my way to this stage today.’ She gives credit to her mother, Betsy Knight, who gave her the courage to become whatever she wanted to be. In her mom’s words, ‘to each their own.’
I had the pleasure of meeting Tracey and her entire family last evening after the show. She is a gracious, lovely woman who clearly is proud of her new ‘baby.’
Congratulations to a wonderful cast who made us all feel that they were truly living the characters they portrayed. Thank you all for giving us the ‘edge of your seat’ performances that kept us glued to the stage until the absolute very last second.
More about the Fringe Festival
Photos: Courtesy of “To Each Their Own”