What Is the Story of The Assembled Parties?
Richard Greenberg’s The Assembled Parties is a story about long-held secrets between family members, first in 1980sand later in 2000. The attention is centered on the Bascovs, a upper-class Jewish family in Manhattan. Julie and Ben Bascov prepare Christmas dinner in the kitchen with Jeff, a bright but nervous law student and friend of their son Scotty. The Bascovs’ dinner guests are Ben’s sister Faye, her husband Mort, and daughter Shelley. Twenty years pass and another Christmas party is held—a sadder, more painful affair as time has been unkind to this family.
What Is The Assembled Parties Like?
Amidst family squabbles, a sprawling apartment and Jewish class issues, The Assembled Parties walks a line between humorous quips and painful truths about immigrant parents, difficult mothers and the children who resent them. Lynne Meadow’s direction lets audiences dig into all the emotional baggage Greenberg's characters have in tow. The Bascovs' house turns from a place of aspiration to a vast space filled with ghosts, lost promise and delusions. In Act One, Santo Loquasto’s turntable set keeps moving and revealing “new rooms” in the expansive apartment. In Act Two, the set is fixed and the decay and emptiness of the characters is rendered through the open space, the rooms off in the distance. This acclaimed production features a fabulous ensemble and is a rich evening of theater.
Is The Assembled Parties Good for Kids?
Not really. Although there’s nothing objectionable in the play, the sophisticated jokes will go over kids’ heads and the conversation among a bunch of middle-aged people won’t interest them.