Senior Marginalization Portrayed Beneath the Surface in TRP’s ‘Restroom’

Mary Kay Fortier Spalding, left, and Maggie Bearmon Pistner.  Photo by copyright Act One, Too, Ltd.

Mary Kay Fortier Spalding, left, and Maggie Bearmon Pistner. Photo by copyright Act One, Too, Ltd.

Ludmilla Bollow’s 1976 comedy takes place in lavatory lounge in a classic downtown department store. Here elderly women gather on-goingly and actually bond. The play’s main conflict occurs when one of the regulars who has mental issues and her sister, who is not one of the regulars, tries to control her in a very demanding way. It raises dicey ethical questions definitely worth mulling over. Those truly interested in senior issues and dilemmas will find this little play a kind of treasure trove.

However, Bollow’s script is often disjointed, though her characters have dimension and lots of heart. Thankfully, director Wendy Resch Novak’s terrific cast gets at that heart and illuminates the financial, health, and emotional concerns that come with age. The only problem is they’re all too young for the roles. Nonetheless, Maggie Bearmon Pistner, Kristen C. Mathisen, Mary Kay Fortier Spalding, and Mary Cutler are fun and touching to watch. Morevoer, they provide food for thought as we now see both major political parties recklessly playing political football with Social Security.

In the Restroom at Rosenbloom’s
Through June 23
Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Av., Mpls.
(612) 333-3010
www.theatreintheround.org

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