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SONS & LOVERS Buffalo United Artists/Alleyway's Main Street Cabaret
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Sep 29, 2017, 15:25
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SONS & LOVERS Buffalo United Artists/Alleyway’s Main Street Cabaret

There’s really nothing like a good family secret to set up a play.
Of course, Shakespeare and the Greeks and a lot of others do it.
In Donna Hoke’s “Sons & Lovers,” the local playwright builds the play around a more recognizable plot, the son who won’t admit to his parents he’s gay and can’t tell them about his boyfriend.
Isn’t that a little more plausible than who will wind up king of England?
Do you know anyone who has been in this position?
Despite urging from lover Marq (A. Peter Snodgrass), Bill (Steve Brachmann) can’t tell mom Ellen (Caitlin Baeumler Coleman) and dad Butch (Dave Granville) about his life.
That’s it, a man trying to come to terms with himself.
Not like trying to recover from a bad test or from a bad job, but from a troubled life.
That’s where this turns into a comedy, with a series of characters butting into Bill’s indecision and Snodgrass as various analogues of Marq and Granville’s characters keep him from staying in the closet while just peeping out from a variety of places.
Ellen isn’t quite clear what’s going on, although she has her suspicions, aggravated when she finds out Butch has been fooling around also.
So, she tries to go back out into the dating pool, unsure of what to do.
So, Bill with his inability to make decisions is trying to offer romantic advice to his mother.
Hoke has this structured as a long one-act play in a winding and twisting plot.
Director Todd Fuller has two strong performances to work with, Baeumler Coleman and Brachmann, along with good work from Snodgrass.
Surprisingly, Granville is the weakest part of the play, reflecting an under-resourced character.
and that could be worked on.
The limitations of the Main Street Cabaret mean the set is close to non-existent.
“Sons & Lovers” is an interesting look at one of the more serious quandries in life, offering some strong performances and some food for thought.

A.W.

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