Theatre Review: Next Fall opens on Main St. Feb. 7

Community By Roselind Romero, The Miami Laker staff Friday, February 7, 2014

Next Fall, the first production of 2014 by the Main Street Players which premiers on Friday, February 7, follows the religious squabbles, family secrets and heartaches endured by loved ones over the course of five years, and though some characters are certain they will have "next fall" to make their peace, they make the very human mistake in believing they have more time.

The play, which begins and ends in a hospital waiting room, cuts scenes between the present and the past highlighting a growing forbidden romance and the ever looming possibility of that romance coming to light much to the delight of some and disdain of others.

Daniel Gomez plays Luke, a young man hiding his sexuality from his zealous father, and justifying his actions with prayerful remorse. Luke is waiting to stop leading a double life when his younger brother is free from their father's hold. Luke's partner, Adam, played by Larry Chidsey, isn't fond of Luke's self-imposed righteousness and though it doesn't keep them apart, the fissures of their relationship multiply as the years pass.

Holly, played by Liz Dikinson, is the fearless friend that harmonizes questioning and assuaging. She provides the calm between the storm, not through neutrality but in sympathetic love for everyone she meets.

Butch, played by Harry Marsh was once married to wild child Arlene, played by Rachel Stone, and the dynamics of their divorcee relationship, and the many married years that came before it, have left their mark on Luke. They both struggle to grasp what defines weakness and strength. Arlene, curiously, never shares a scene with her son, a decision later shed light on.

Brandon, played by Michael Fernandez, is a longtime friend of Luke's and despite sharing many foundational beliefs, they differ on the lifestyles they choose to lead which creates rifts.

It's no surprise the characters find themselves in a hospital, as each is indeed waiting.

The tragic final scene is held by a thread from hopelessness, saved by a handful of words that make "next fall" a possibility, if not by whom it was expected.

Next Fall welcomes back many Main Street Playhouse veterans including Chidsey, Dikinson, Fernandez, Stone, and Marsh. The play is directed by the Main Street Playhouse's Artistic Director Robert Coppel. He has directed several Playhouse performances and has acting credits with New Theatre, The Actor's Playhouse, and The Ann White Theater.

Next Fall contains strong language and content that may not be suitable for children. Following the premier at the Main Street Playhouse, 6766 Main Street, on February 7, performances run through March 2 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors (62+) and $18 for students with valid ID, and are available on the website and at the door.

For more information visit the website or call 305-558-3737.