‘Water by the Spoonful’ delivers a strong dose of medicine for the lonely soul

WbtS 8 cropped1

“Water by the Spoonful” is a moving tale of a family’s struggle with the fallout of addiction.

Though the characters tell stories you’ve heard many times before (an Iraqi War vet, a no-show mother, that golden cousin who made good), playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes offers fresh perspectives on an overarching social issue that affects those far beyond the confines of the recovering community.

Four of the crack addicts at the center of the story meet in an online chat forum. (If you’re wondering why they don’t go to 12-step meetings in their respective cities, more will be revealed.) Their clunky dialogue, seemingly banal banter and misplaced aggressions portray the loneliness and desperate need for relief that is distinctive to an addict with haunting authenticity.

Director Scott Edmiston’s stirring production boasts an ensemble of star talent that draws you into their chaos with a staid sense of vulnerability that is deeply ingrained as a result of years of heartbreak and disappointment. Collectively, their exploration of isolation as a profoundly problematic human condition is masterful.

Johnny Lee Davenport finely embodies the frustration of Chutes & Ladders, a man whose family has disowned him. Therese Nguyen is equally touching as Orangutan, a disjointed Japanese addict raised by adopted parents in Maine. Gabriel Kuttner is convincingly arrogant, if only on the surface, as Fountainhead, the deceitful newbie-in-denial of the group.

Though the script is not without hiccups (a couple of superfluous storylines and just a bit too much stating of the obvious), Edmiston smoothes any rough edges  by challenging the audience to identify with his broken characters, if you dare.

“Water by the Spoonful” offers much to those who are willing to entertain the possibility that they, too, might be yearning for more than just the superficial connections of an unhappily harried society.

If you go

‘Water by the Spoonful’
Through November 16
Lyric Stage
140 Clarendon St., Boston
$25 – $61
617-585-5678
lyricstage.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.