THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE by Carol Kaufman Segal
Through the Eye of the Needle takes place in the home of the Keen Family in Fort Lee, New Jersey, on Christmas Eve, 2011. It will, undoubtedly, be a difficult Christmas this year for Barbara (Meeghan Holaway), her husband Larry (David Gianopoulos), and daughter Samantha (Kaitlin Huwe) due to the fact that their other family member will not be with them to celebrate the holiday. Dana (Kara Hume), the older daughter in the Keen family, was killed while working in Afghanistan with the Navy and each of them is handling their grief in their own way. (We see Dana wandering around the house as if someone’s imagination.)
Barbara sets a place at the table for Dana at every meal despite the effect it has on Larry. Larry has gotten in the habit of drinking in excess and doesn’t seem to be his usual self at all. And Samantha, well she has gone a little bonkers, becoming a vegan, insisting on being called by the name of S (not Samantha), and has become involved in political agendas.
It is obvious that the Keens are expecting guests for dinner. That is because their minister, Pastor Bill Towers, (Chet Grissom) has invited himself and his wife Shirley (Stephanie Erb) to dinner where he plans to offer the family a Christmas Tribute to honor Dana. Pastor Bill is quite an overbearing man, and Shirley appears very ill at ease from over-medication.
The dinner is interrupted by the arrival of a young stranger, Nasser Nouri (Erica Mathlin), who was a close friend of Dana’s. He has come on her behalf and with messages from her to the family. Larry is suspicious of him and wants him to leave immediately, but Barbara will not allow it. When Nassar reveals his story, it eventually brings everyone’s bottled-up problems to the surface, some of which are part of today’s controversial topics in our society. How will this affect each of them?
Through the Eye of a Needle is a well written play by Jami Brandli. Ann Hearn does an outstanding job directing a most talented cast. A second talented cast alternates with the one written up in this review. Knowing the work that is done at the Road Theatre Company, believe me, it will make no difference which cast you see. Performances are Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 8 PM, and Sundays at 2 PM, through May 13, at the Road Theatre on Lankershim, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. For tickets, call (818) 761-8838 or visit wwwRoadTheatre.org.