From Up Here
One of my favorite moments last night after seeing From Up Here at Manhattan Theater Club was the crowd at end of the show. As we were leaving the show, both my friend and I decided we would go home and read the New York Times review again to see their take on the play. Obviously we weren’t the only ones a bit confused when we walked out. The crowd, which was at least 25 people, were all straining to read the New York Times review that had been blown up and plastered on the wall. It was a very funny sight. Smart minds must think a like.
Conceptually, the play is an interesting topic. Seemingly a normal family is trying to get back to their day to day life after the teenage son walked into school one day with a gun, unloaded, and a list of who he would like to kill. Hmmm. If you over look all of the credibility issues in the play, then the story could be interesting. You would assume that if a kid did something like that they would not go back to school, have to give a speech to the school apologizing for their behavior, spend time speaking with a teacher (not a therapist), have to work with another random student to help him feel comfortable about his re-entry into school and the only annoying nuisance is having someone check his back pack daily and a parent must sign him in and out of school. Hmmm. I would hope that is not how a school or community or family would deal with an issue like this but in this play, they do.
Tobias Segal, who plays Kenny (the main character) and Aya Cash who play his sister Lauren and Will Rogers who plays the sort of boy friend of Lauren are all fantastic. They are young and talented and we will be seeing more of them in the future. That is the good thing. The other good thing is that the play only lasts an hour and forty-five minutes with no intermission.
Shootings on high school and college campuses happen way to often these days. Once is too many times. There have been a few movies that have been made on this topic. Although the play attempts to tackle this topic from the "normal" family angle, it really comes up short. I couldn’t look past the unfocused plot and the credibility issues.
I am still a fan of MTC. The play did give you food for thought but fell short on the execution.