I saw the remarkable 94-year-old Mike Nussbaum, leave his adoring audience spellbound once again, as he took on the role of patriarch of a troubled family.
The characters explored several unconventional issues in “Curve of Departure,” a delicate, often comic, drama, by Rachel Bonds, now playing in the Northlight Theater in Skokie, IL.
The characters had come to New Mexico for the funeral of Nussbaum’s character’s son, but while in the motel room, awaiting the funeral they discuss the interracial homosexual relationship of Nussbaum’s character’s grandson, and whether or not his former daughter-in-law—who very much adores him – should quit her career and care for him as he becomes more and more frail.
It was a lot of ground to cover in 90 minutes with no intermission, but , as has been said of other great actors, I would willingly sit in awe while watching Nussbaum read the Yellow Pages on stage.
Of special interest to those in my senior group, was the patriarch’s argument that he believes that when he is ready he should be allowed to end his own life.
The family goes bonkers, giving all the sensible reasons why he should not. To which Nussbaum ,in his usual great form, gives his argument, ending with, “It is my right!!!!”
I’m not going to ssay it’s his right—or he’s wrong. That’s up to the individual.
But I do say that if this thought provoking little play comes to a theater near you—go see it. And if Nussbaum is ever in your area, don’t miss him either. Even if he’s just reading the Yellow Pages.