Theater Review: “Luna Gale” at the Goodman

Theater Review: “Luna Gale” at the Goodman

Posted by: Bertha Mendez at 01/28/2014 11:30 AM

Playwright Rebecca Gilman delivered an outstanding story filled with comedy as well as moments filled with anguish. And while “Luna Gale” deals with various sensitive topics, including drug addiction and religion, it manages to tell a compelling story that leaves the audience on the edge of their seats.

As the play opens, parents, Karlie and Peter are in a waiting room waiting to see what is wrong with their infant daughter, Luna, since she was severely sick the night before. This begins the struggle for the custody of baby Luna Gale between her meth addicted parents and her overly religious grandmother. However, the story mainly revolves around Caroline, a social worker, who is attempting to help Karlie and Peter gain custody because the grandma is too focused on religion to care about her surroundings. Throughout the play, dark secrets are revealed and plot twists begin to unfold as the story proceeds.

All in all, this play was incredible. Its plot was unique and just when I thought that I knew what was happening, it took another turn. There were definitely moments of shock, in which the audience would gasp similarly to how I did. The moment that stood out the most was finding out Caroline’s secret past and how it affected the plot. Merely hearing the sadness emitted from her voice as she speaks of her past sends shivers down your spine. There were ups and downs and the story could transition beautifully between comedy and drama. There were moments that, quite frankly, were unexpected, but led to a greater outcome in the story. One aspect of the play that was very impressive was the stage. The stage was able to rotate and change from one room to another. This immediately caught my attention because I had never seen something so different. Generally, the plays that I have seen have only had one set and that was it. However, in this play there were around three to six different set that were all unique in their own way. It went from being something like an office to a nursery room. I never expected something like that, so I was happy about how the stage’s tricks played out. Moreover, another thing that I liked was how well the actors could perform. They knew just when to get into character and how to make the audience stay glued to their seats. For instance, when Peter starts off in the play, he seems to be very dumb and only concerned with drugs, but as the play progresses we see him transform into a, somehow, dynamic character who turns out to be a very caring parent. This play as a whole was incredible with a very breath-taking plot.

While the play was amazing, it did have its flaws. For instance, the lighting was very poor. I found myself often squinting because the lighting wasn’t very good and the room seemed to be relatively dim. This made it hard to focus, especially considering that I have very bad eyesight. And while the end seemed to be on the more “realistic” side, I would have preferred if the play elaborated more on what happened to the characters towards the end. It left me wondering what happened to the grandmother, to Caroline, and even to Karlie in the end. The play may have had its flaws, but the pros greatly outweighed the cons.

Overall, going to this play was an unforgettable experience. It left me wanting more and wanting to even watch the play again. I had never known that a play could have so many twists and turns, but I was proven wrong. This is definitely one of the best plays that I have ever had the pleasure to see. If you like a play with a very original plot, this is the right play for you. 

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