There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Inheritances and marital stresses are also central to Take Me Away, the would-be black comedy staged by the contemporary Irish clan at Solas Nua, but while it’s possible to discern the lineaments of a desperate kind of humor between Gerald Murphy’s strenuously overworked lines, the cast of Linda Murray’s undercooked production hasn’t quite managed to dig it out.
Three brothers, one an obvious loser and the other two an open question, gather in a characterless urban apartment that’s meant to suggest a certain measure of success on the one hand—it’s a two-bedroom, as everyone keeps pointing out, exhaustingly—and a soul-killing, unimaginative sameness on the other. (There’s nothing picaresque, nothing green, nothing freeing, and nothing lyrical about the strictures of this modern, economically vibrant Ireland, which is part of the point Murphy’s making, in what seems like a pointed rejoinder to everyone from John Millington Synge to Martin McDonagh.)
They’re waiting on Dad, who’s called the meeting in advance of a visit to Mom—who may or may not be in the hospital but who’s certainly not going to be playing the same role in their future that she’s played in their past. Will they go? Not all of them, and not before everyone’s secrets come out—and that, unless you’re just not paying attention, won’t be until well after you’ve guessed ’em all.
There is, it’s true, a small measure of pathos in the situations Murphy imagines for his modern misfits; the trouble is, he hasn’t made his misfits into complete characters, or at least Murray and her actors don’t make a convincing case that he has. So neither characters nor situations, ultimately, will linger long once you’ve left that uninspiring apartment; like boom-time construction, Take Me Away feels too bland to make much of an impression.