The Kitchen Play stays true to its title, and doesn't spare the seasoning. As the Stantons, a middle-class Philadelphia family, navigate their way through a tortuous divorce, every last bit of raw emotion is projected through the food and appliances marketed to their demographic.
Playwright Brian Kirchner perfectly conveys underlying tensions and fears through critiques and compliments on family recipes and Tupperware. Marianne Vidal (Isabelle Stanton) and Ron Barba (Arnold Stanton) contribute greatly to this effort as in their natural chemistry and solid grounded physicality.
Joshua Michael Payne (John Stanton) executes Kirchner's parallel between the father and son effortlessly. He casually stress eats, rails against the stupidity of Tupperware, and mimics Arnold’s inability to assert himself without anger being the motivation.
The monumental factor in The Kitchen Play is that the storytelling isn't conventionally linear, nor is it cyclical. Instead, the characters in this play progress in a cyclical nature toward an ending that both echoes the beginning, yet is chillingly altered from the journey. Everyone is reticent but fully aware of the past repeating itself; they're actively searching to stop the cycle, yet their subsequent failure is this play's triumph.
The Kitchen Play was performed as part of the Thespis Theater Festival. For more information, visit https://thespisnytheaterfestival.com/