Who’ll Save the Plowboy? brings us into the small New York apartment of husband and wife, Albert and Helen Cobb, played by Jerry Rago and Julie Hays, respectively. It is clear at the top of the show that the two have a very strained relationship, to say the least. They are awaiting the arrival of Albert’s old friend and WWII buddy, Larry Doyle, played by Robert Haufrecht. Larry saved Albert’s life during the war, and after losing touch for some time, is in town and on his way to visit his old friend.
Bradley Wherle’s set is comprised of a bare-bones, non-descript apartment with a few walls, entrances, a couple pieces of furniture and a window ingeniously placed into the grooves of the small Davenport Theater. Even the creative picture frames, painted blue like the wall, give us no hint to the kind of life these two lead.
Rago and Cobb don’t disappoint in showing us the hard life they have together during the time before Haufrecht’s entrance, after which we get to see some beautiful moments. Rago and Haufrecht have some great banter, and even greater timing, as they discuss (or try not to discuss) the subject of the Cobb’s son, Larry, Jr. Haufrecht is a pleasure to watch as you see the layers of emotion in his eyes after being asked about his wife, Veronica.
Tom Ashton gives us a nice taste of a couple characters, while Alex Vamvonkakis pulls off the boy next door.
But it is Spring Condoyan, playing Mrs. Doyle (Larry’s mother), who steals the show. Her slow, deliberate delivery made her a pleasure to watch. She had many wonderful moments, but the look she gave Helen right before her exit spoke a thousand words. Her subtext and subtlety left us begging for more.
While I share a birthday with the late Frank D. Gilroy (October 13th), I feel the play is dated, repetitive and heavy. Hays gave a lovely performance, but unfortunately her character had no redeeming qualities, just one of the downfalls of the misogynistic writing she fell prey to.
Director Marcia Haufrecht and her cast do a wonderful job of leaving us with the question: Have our actions, no matter how good the intention, left the world a better place?
The Davenport Theatre Black Box
at 354 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036
Wednesday, November 11 at 8pm
Thursday, November 12 at 8pm
Friday, November 13 at 8pm
Saturday, November 14 at 8pm
Sunday, November 15 at 3pm (matinee)
Wednesday, November 18 at 8pm
Thursday, November 19 at 8pm
Friday, November 20 at 8pm
Saturday, November 21 at 8pm (closing)
Click here or call 1-800-838-3006.