There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Would that I had as much hope for A Sleeping Country, but despite a promising cast (Marcus Kyd, Susan Lynskey, Bridget Cleary, Connan Morrissey) and the tantalizing possibilities of a plot involving a magic-realist quest, Melanie Marnich’s comedy comes off as overwritten and obvious.
There are laughs, yes, but the language sets out for poetic territory and arrives too often in platitude-land. And surely, if a playwright is going to conclude that X is the cause of her heroine’s agonizing, weeks-long insomnia, she ought not have another character ask, in the first scene, whether X is in fact the cause—and then have X himself ask it again in the next bit, as well.
Because by then, the audience will have figured out how the play ends, despite the heroine’s stubborn refusal to get it, and everyone will find the second act pretty trying, even if your ensemble of gifted comedians is doing its level best.