BSC’s World Premiere “All of Me” is a Winning New Love Story
Lucy and Alfonso meet cute in Laura Winters winning World Premiere of a romantic comedy, “All of Me” playing through 10/9 on the Boyd-Quinson Stage at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield.
The two are in the Ellis Hospital waiting area, each in mobility devices and each using text-to-speech technology to communicate with each other. Alfonso has been paralyzed since he was an infant and Lucy has had muscular dystrophy since her teens.
The situation could not be more clear as she zooms around him gracefully on her scooter, batting her eyes and staring intently under her brow, asking him to pick a letter. His eyes widen alarmed, suspicious and attracted to her “game.” He finally chooses B and she hits him with Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back. “The game is which song will be butchered the most by using this Stephen Hawking voice.” Expletive used.
The course of true love never did run smooth and the obstacles to this happy ending may be more than most, maybe more than some play goers are willing to go on. Lucy (saucy Madison Ferris) lives fractiously with her mother and older sister in a rough and tumble Schenectady house with an improvised ramp. Mom played by Leah Hocking preaches the power of prayer and physical therapy handing off an exercise ball to Lucy on her trips to the boxed wine. Jackie (Alexandra Seal) is wrapped up in her fiancée Moose (Jack Fellows) hoping to inspire him to commit to a wedding date.
Alfonso (charming Danny J. Gomez) lives much differently with his Colombian mother Elena (Maggie Bofill) where he has a caretaker who always has him on her watch through remote cameras. Alfonso is a Columbia graduate and has been nurtured with a far greater sense of possibility in what he can accomplish. Lucy has been mentioned as a possible Walmart greeter by her family. Elena nails it “What I take personally is Connie’s lack of imagination for Lucy’s future.”
The obstacles up against them are their own physical limitations and their feelings of self-worth and attraction to each other but also their class differences, language and cultural differences, familial constraints and mid-way through the play a decision of Lucy’s to sell her medication and medical marijuana which strains the romantic possibilities hoped for.
The cast could not be bettered. Director Ashley Brooke Monroe keeps everyone active and invested in the outcome. Alexandra Seal’s reaction to the charge that she is abandoning the family by getting married is piercing. Leah Hocking’s sullen exit to the wedding is terrifying and enraging. Madison Ferris’s rendition of “At Last” will go in the keeper drawer of theater memories.
Barrington’s usual high standard of technical expertise is shown to fine effect here especially Matt Otto’s sound design with its special challenges of the text audio and the playlist of contemporary songs played in Big Band style. The sets by Brian Prather are also terrific; character defining, attractive and quickly changed.
The play gets consistent laughs and inspires hope and wonder as you root for the two main characters coupling, perhaps harder than you’ve ever hoped for an onstage couple to get together before. It is an eye-opening, consciousness raising love story that will lift you to your feet to applaud this terrific cast, BSC and the power of theater to educate, inspire and move you.
At Barrington Stage Company through 10/9
Tickets: www.barringtonstageco.org or 413-236-8888