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Community Players of Concord look at the cost of the truth

  • Lyman Wyeth (played by John Conlon) worries about his daughter Brooke Wyeth (played by Katie Dunn) as Aunt Silda Grauman (played by Anne Orio) looks on in a scene from ‘Other Desert Cities’ playing at the Concord Auditorium this weekend. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Trip Wyeth (played by Jeremy Lent gets a drink after playing tennis in a scene from ‘Other Desert Cities’ playing a the Concord Auditorium this weekend. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The Wyeth family, from left, Lyman ( John Colon), Trip (Jeremy Lent), Polly (Nancy Barry), and Brooke (Katie Dunn) discuss their Holiday dinner plans after playing tennis in a scene from ‘Other Desert Cities’ at the Concord City Auditorium playing this weekend starting Friday, May 5th at 7:30 p.m. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Lyman and Brooke Wyeth (played by John Conlon and Katie Dunn) try to confront their past from a scene in ‘Other Desert Cities’ playing at the Concord Auditorium this weekend. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Lyman and Polly Wyeth (played by John Conlon and Nancy Barry) are worried about their daughter Brooke (played by Katie Dunn) from a scene of ‘Other Desert Cities’ playing at the Concord Auditorium this weekend. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Lyman and Brooke Wyeth (played by John Conlon and Katie Dunn) try to confront their past from a scene in ‘Other Desert Cities’ playing at the Concord Auditorium this weekend. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Thursday, May 04, 2017

The holidays can be a tough time for people. Just ask the Wyeth family.

It all goes down in Other Desert Cities, written by Jon Robin Baitz, performed by the Community Players of Concord and directed by Wayland Bunnell this weekend.

It’s Christmas 2004 and Brooke (Katie Dunn) and Trip (Jeremy Lent) are headed to Palm Springs, Calif., to celebrate the holidays with their parents, Lyman and Polly Wyeth (John Conlon and Nancy Barry). Aunt Silda Grauman (Anne Orio) is also there, after a stint in rehab.

Lyman and Polly are highly regarded in the old Hollywood circles and admired by their Republican friends for their service to the party (and for paling around with Ron and Nancy Reagan).

They are less regarded by their children and Silda, who resent them for their cloistered lifestyle among only rich and like-minded friends.

Things come to a head during the contentious Christmas when Brooke reveals the novel she’s been working on is really a memoir that reveals private family moments.

“It’s just all too personal for Polly and Lyman,” Bunnell said. They have lived a control and private life and they don’t want anything revealed.

Brooke wants the family’s approval, but she may publish whether they like it or not.

“There’s a surprise ending that no one sees coming,” Bunnell said, explaining that while watching the show the audience will make judgments of the characters that they’ll have to re-evaluate.

Bunnell said an appropriate caption for the play might have been “What is the cost of the truth?” For the Wyeth family, there are different versions of what they believe is the truth.

Sometimes the truth hurts, he said.

“I thought it was the best thing I’ve read in years,” Bunnell said. The show was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2012. “It’s one of those plays you shouldn’t miss.”

Other Desert Cities “is funny in places,” he said. “It’s tragic in places. … It engages you as a human being in a lot of different ways.”

Shows will be Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for seniors and students. For more information, visit communityplayersofconcord.org.

For even more theater, you can stop by the Hatbox at the Steeplegate Mall for The Truth Will Spring Yuh, produced by a New World of Theatre.

A recently released inmate Sarah Wheaton is none too happy with the halfway house operated by Mama and her son Henry. She’s less happy with fellow inmate Elizabeth Johnston. None the less, it’s better than going back to prison.

The show opened April 28 and will run Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through May 14. Tickets are $16.50 for adults and $13.50 for seniors, students and members. More information is available at hatboxnh.com.