Actors bring depth, emotion in powerful RCT production


The Rome Community Theater, Upper Turin Road, has taken on a critically acclaimed drama in “Other Desert Cities” by Jon Robin Baitz.

The play’s events occur around Christmas Eve 2004, when the family of Polly and Lyman Wyeth gather in Palm Springs, Calif. Their daughter Brooke returns home after six years in New York, and presents to her family a memoir that threatens to shatter the lives of everyone involved.

Directed by Denise Borek Morganti, assisted by Eric Almleaf, this is a complex and well written piece of theater.

From Morganti: “When a monumental event changes their family forever, they must all learn to deal with it in different ways. How they manage their lives and how it affects them all as a family is a story that is as pertinent today as it was in 2004. Politics, addiction, maintaining a facade, and repairing relationships are all part of the story. Family members do not always know the truth about one another, and finding out that truth either breaks them apart or makes them stronger.”

The themes of this play are heavy, and the cast portrayed their parts superbly.

Husband and wife team Richard Stoodley and Linda LaPorte-Stoodley brought depth to the burdens often carried by parents. Valerie Abel (recently on stage as M’Lynn in “Steel Magnolias”) gave another emotionally compelling performance as a daughter struggling with the impact her parents’ actions have had on her life. Tim Huey as the supportive sibling and Eileen Tiller Clanton as the wayward aunt add intricacy to the family dynamic.

The show continues tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $15. Call 315-337-5920 for reservations or more information.


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