Writer: Eliza Bent
Director: Annie Tippe
Reviewer: Solace J.
As you enter the plane (the theater), your tickets are torn and you are directed to your seat by a flight attendant. The layout of the seats replicates an airplane, with one center row and two aisles on either side. There are monitors overhead the seats, similar to overhead monitors on a 747 jet. Meredith Ries’ design of the cockpit, shrouded by a scrim, serves the scenes between the pilot and co-pilot very well.
Once the “flight” takes off, the high jinks begin! Retiring after decades of flying to pursue a lifelong dream of writing, Jan (played by Tony nominee Barbara Walsh) is taking her last flight as an employee in order to join a prestigious writing workshop. She is traveling with her dog Bonnie, who has been diagnosed with cancer. During this trip, during which Jan comes to terms with endings and new beginnings, she must deal with her best friend and fellow flight attendant Greig (Greig Sargeant) who is hurt that she didn’t tell him she was retiring. Jan and Greig are also dealing with green flight attendant LeeAnne (Ceci Fernandez) as she dodges the advances of her ex-boyfriend, the co-pilot (Federico Rodriguez) aka Jesus, short for “Jesus is my co-pilot.” The pilot (Sam Breslin Wright) takes the helm of this turbulent, quirky trip. Playwright Eliza Bent weaves herself in and out of the story as Jan’s writing muse Mark Twain, dropping thought-provoking quips and quotes on the characters and audience members alike.
The video clips interspersed between scenes throughout the play laudably accentuate the flow of the narrative and give the story a great gust of brevity. Besides one or two scenes that still need fleshing out, or maybe even to be omitted, the play flows smoothly and dynamically. Under Tippe’s direction, it is clear what the themes are: baggage and the fact that we all have it.
Runs until 2 March 2019 | Image: Shun Takino