Back Stage West, March 9, 2000
Written by Madeleine Shaner.
BROTHERS, NOT KEEPERS and DOLORES
Joey (Ron Pisaturo) and Frankie (Michael Albala) make an intriguing entrance in Brothers, Not Keepers, a new play by Ron Pisaturo. The initial impression is that we've happened on a couple of burglars searching an apartment with malicious intent. There's even mention of planting a bomb. Nerves wracked, the intrepid pair explore the corners and crevices of the unfurnished room. Finally reassured that everything's in order, we learn that Joey, a sharp careeer gambler, has a debilatating phobia. He's afraid of cockroaches. The bomb they're thinking of detonating is the lethal bug bomb they carry in case of emergency. Joey's secret is safe with Frankie, who gives the impression he may be one dime short of a dollar. It's clear he's always taken second place in the self-esteem stakes where his brother is concerned. Excellent performances by both actors, under the savvy direction of Jolene Adams, create what's scarcely a play but turns out to be a lovable little essay on the strength of the sibling bond.
Edward Allan Baker's Dolores, a popular little one-act that's been seen around town in different incarnations over the past couple of years, also explores the sibling bond. Sandra (Andrea Tate) is a seemingly contented housewife who's enjoying her ritualistic Sunday afternoon folding the laundry and enjoying a quiet coffeee and a Twinkie while her husband takes the kids to the park. The last person she wants to be interrupting her few peaceful moments is her slightly batty sister, Dolores (Jolene Adams), who has a history of multiple marriages to the wrong men and a fever-level inferiority complex. Dolores, it seems, has really done it this time, as her black eye attests. What she's done we won't reveal here, but its possible repercussions have brought on severe paranoia and a desperate search for a place to hide. Despite her misgivings about giving Dolores shelter, and despite that these aren't the first dire straits Dolores has navigated, the ties of blood remain the strongest ties of all. Tate creates a peachy tough, very realistic character as the apparently contented housewife, and Adams is perfectly cast as the flaky sister.