Georgie D.

Chain Theatre, Manhattan

How can a bare-bones production like this provide such a gripping performance?

By Andrew Andrews

Cheryl Games and Patrick Grizzard star in The Chain Theatre's production of Jessica Durdock Moreno's Georgie D. directed by Rick Hamilton. Original promotional graphic by Christian Moeykens.

Middle-aged siblings Margaret and Thomas Dudka meet in the hallway outside their estranged father George’s hospital room to pull the plug on his life support systems and sort out his affairs.

Awaiting the arrival of their older sister Francis, the brother and sister struggle to hold the most simple of conversations without blowing up, as generic hospital announcements summon staff members over the public address system.

Margaret tries to fill out a “poem eulogy mad lib thing” to express her last goodbye, but Thomas shows no interest in finding closure, lamenting that he “was always reaching for [Dad] and he never reached back.”

As the story progresses, townspeople appear and confuse the siblings with accolades for the father they felt was like a “quiet ghost” in a home where nobody talked and there was never any joy.

Photo credit: Michael Abrams.

I’m always amazed when anyone can turn a rather mundane situation into an intense experience, and this Chain Theatre production is nothing short of impressive.

The script perfectly captures the emotion of children who longed for the love they never received, and the cast expertly guides us through years worth of psychotherapy in less than two hours.

Advising us that “it’s a relief when you forget the bad things, but a bummer when you forget the good,” this cryptic case of the cobbler’s children having no shoes is proof that you can’t judge a play by its budget, and that the simplest production in the smallest theatre often provides the most compelling performance.

With only a few days left in its run, I regret that I wasn’t able to catch Georgie D sooner to alert you to grab tickets to one of the four remaining performances.

For only $15 in advance, this show deserves to be seen, and you owe it to yourself not to miss it.

Andrew Andrews attended Georgie D. at Chain Theatre in Manhattan on Saturday, August 7, 2021 @ 2:00pm to write this review.