Everything looks fine on the surface, and why wouldn’t it?
After all, Bill and Nancy have been married for 50 years and are living the quintessential retired life at a seniors living estate. Their grown sons have long fled the nest, so now is the time to live the sunset years in peace.
Except Bill’s and Nancy’s long marriage is suffering through a malaise, and it has been for several years. Now, Nancy is asking for a divorce. What follows — Grand Horizons — is a particularly poignant comedy by playwright Bess Wohl that has a 10-performance run at Very Little Theatre Jan. 19 through Feb. 4.
The play explores an implosion of a long marriage, yes, but also the quest for Nancy to gain an identity of her own, separate from Bill. Nancy (Dianne DeBorde) feels liberated by the decision. Bill (Larry K. Fried) is unperturbed by it all.
It is Brian (Ethan Kemper) and Ben (Conor Tracey), the sons, who drop everything and come to the estate to try and make sense of all of this. They are at a crossroads. The brothers — along with friends Jess (Eve James), Tommy (Ian Pedroza) and Carla (Chris Hugo) — attempt to untangle memories of the past and determine a new course of love for each parent.
Grand Horizons opened on Broadway in early 2020 to rave reviews and was nominated for a Tony Award. VLT’s production of the play is directed by Leslie Murray.