Reviewed by Matt Ritchey
Travel back to a simpler…. (Well, SEEMINGLY simpler) time when neighbors were friendly with everyone, communists were the enemy, and a pesky nuclear missile mishap last Spring is no reason you can’t enjoy a July Fourth BBQ!
2Cents Theatre’s WELCOME TO THE NIEGHBORHOOD is a madcap (and I can use that word unironically because the show is set in 1954) hour of backyard hotdogs, intrigue, politics, radiation, and outer space. Bob and Cindy are throwing a July Fourth party complete with games and snacks for everyone, but, as can happen in small towns, there’s distrust and resentment bubbling under many smiles.
To delve into the characters and stories would be to deprive you of all the fun, but NEIGHBORHOOD (written by Scott Golden, directed by Kristen Boule, and created with Tiffany Asta) boasts great performances from the entire cast (I followed a thread with Lucas Alifano’s charmingly clueless astronaut Odell and Joe Hernandez—Kolski’s furiously anti-Communist Randall), and a finale which smartly ties up all of the plotlines, so that even if you missed connecting with other scenes, the story is clear. (Incidentally, there’s more than one ending, so if you had a beautiful day in the NEIGHBORHOOD, you can return and likely catch a different ending!)
And while the company checks vaccination status at the “door” (it’s an outside venue), once you’re grabbing a burger and wandering around with the cast, it feels like there never was a huge disaster in the world and we’ve just picked up happily where we left off.
Run Time: 50 minutes
Written/Created by Scott Golden
Directed/Created by Kristen Boule
Created by Tiffany Asta
FEATURING Lucas Alifano, Dana Deruyck, Everjohn Feliciano, Peter Fluet, Gregory Guy-Gordon, Joe Hernandez-Kolski, Kelly O’Malley, Sam Sheeks, and Leigh Wulff. Also, special appearances by William and Ethan Aldridge.
Costume Design by Linda Muggeridge