Nobody might have ever noticed the Herculean effort that goes into making a birthday party like this, until the pen of playwright Emily Schwend put it into a script that was lovingly massaged by Director Georgette Verdin… Kevin D’Ambrosio brings his still-waters-run-deep character to life so well we ache with tenderness at knowing his so special soul. You too may find yourself especially “processing” just how perfectly Brynne Barnard and Barbara Figgins portray the intimacy of their mother-daughter bonds, where fractions-of-expressions ricochet across a kitchen table filling every second of their interactions with weight.
It’s the kind of play that can take several minutes just to allow its main character to sit and smoke a cigarette in order to unwind after her hard day, and Barnard is the kind of actress who can make this kind of silent scene as full of meaning as any dialogue.
Brynne Barnard as the stoical matriarch and a trio of supporting actors assembled for Interrobang’s midwest premiere inhabit their personae with unconditional compassion and not a hint of condescension…
In Barnard’s hands, Amber shines through. She is tired, but not broken and for her performance alone, Utility is worth seeing.