Starring Alma Cuervo and Erik Moody, featuring Casey Turner and Ruiqi Tang
Directed by Stephen Underwood
Winner of the 2012 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award
Winner of the 2012 Obie Award for Best American Play
Named the #1 show of 2012 by Time Magazine
After suffering a major loss while he was on a cross-country bike trip, young Leo seeks solace from his feisty old grandmother Vera in her West Village apartment. Over the course of a single month, these unlikely roommates infuriate, bewilder, and ultimately reach each other. 4000 Miles looks at how two outsiders find their way in today's world.
Alma Cuervo has been featured in 14 Broadway shows. She created the role of Ida Strauss in TITANIC, played Fraulein Schneider in CABARET, and starred in several Wendy Wasserstein plays including THE HEIDI CHRONICLES and ISN'T IT ROMANTIC. Recently she did two stints in WICKED as Madame Morrible.
“A funny, moving, altogether wonderful drama. [A] heartening reminder that a keen focus on life’s small moments can pay off in a big way onstage.” - The New York Times
“This well-observed gem deserves to be a hit.” - The New York Post
“The sensitive play [is] filled with small, revelatory and often humorous moments between a grandmother and her grandson.” - The Associated Press
TALENTED PLAYER, SUBTLE DIALOGUE GO THE DISTANCE IN ‘4000 MILES’
Portland Press Herald, by Steve Feeney, 3/9/2013
At a generational and often cultural remove from the youth of the day, grandparents can sometimes provide a unique perspective. They give and also call forth thoughts and emotions that can be transforming for all concerned.
Playwright Amy Herzog has modeled a character on one of her grandmothers and used this character in two of her highly regarded plays (a third such play is reportedly in the works). Good Theater has just opened the New England premiere of "4000 Miles," an endearing and ultimately uplifting work in which Herzog's grandma character, Vera, is a major presence.
The play concerns an unscheduled visit by a young man named Leo to his grandmother who lives in Greenwich Village. The grandson has just completed a cross-country bicycle trip during which a tragedy has occurred. Both are very glad to see each other, though they are not initially sure how long they will be able to get along.
Leo does connect with Vera through their shared political leanings, though she's decidedly of the Old Left "it's about the community" variety, while he's more concerned with the evils of importing produce and supporting "slave poultry." But their most important bond has to do with the personal passages of aging that each is moving through.
Broadway veteran Alma Cuervo plays the feisty octogenarian whose long history gives her potentially much to say, if only she could remember the words. It was a pleasure to watch her work with local actor Erik Moody as Leo. Their bickering could get loud and salty but their character's affection and need for each other was also very naturally portrayed. There were long moments at Friday's opening when it was clear that these two fine performers were really enjoying their opportunity to work in this production.
Moody, who has become a significant presence on local stages and screens in recent years, adds new depth of feeling here to his trademark quirky affability.
Casey Turner and Ruiqi Tang play the love interests of Leo, the former serious and the latter flat-out hilarious in one of the funniest scenes of this theater season. Both characters, in different ways, offer correctives to the dreamy idealism that Leo shares with his grandma. Both of these young actresses were impressive on Friday night.
Director Stephen Underwood has done a fine job with the talented cast and subtle dialogue of Herzog. One could argue that his set design for Vera's apartment doesn't quite reflect her and her late husband's radical intellectual history as well as it might. But there's little harm done when the writing and the acting draw the play's picture so well.
Executive & Artistic Director - Brian P. Allen
Director/Set Design/Tech Director - Stephen Underwood
Assistant Tech Director/Photography - Craig Robinson
Scenic Artist - Brian Killeen
Costume Design/Stylist - Justin Cote
Lighting Designer - Iain Odlin
Production Stage Manager - Michael Lynch
Wig Stylist - James Herrera
Set Assistants - August DeLisle, Drew Christopher Joy, Scott Leland, Benjamin Row, Jim Alexander, Marcus Ingerson
* Member Actors' Equity Association