The title of Deborah Zoe Laufer’s thoughtful comedy, End Days, says it all — the end is near. However, depending on which character you listen to, the shape of that conclusion is not clear. The play portrays a family changed by the events of 9/11, two years earlier.
Sylvia (Amy Warner) has flipped from being an atheist to a Jesus freak (she’s followed by an imagined Jesus, played by Michael G. Bath), while her husband Arthur (Barry Mulholland), the sole survivor of a company that operated in one of the Twin Towers, is a depressed narcoleptic hiding from horrific memories, unable to shed his pajamas or shop for groceries. Their daughter Rachel (Lily Hidalgo) hides behind Goth makeup, marijuana and a sullen attitude.
Enter a chipper young man, Nelson (Richard Lowenburg), an orphan wearing a crush for Rachel on the glittering sleeve of his 1970s Elvis jumpsuit. He’s the butt of jokes and physical abuse at school, but he is the catalyst who brings the Steins to a better place.
End Days presented by Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, continues through April 3. Go here to read Rick Pender's full review.