“Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them” could easily end with an intervention by children’s services. A 12-year-old girl and her 17-year-old brother living alone in a remote farmhouse with almost no support or supervision from their absentee father couldn’t possibly end well.
But playwright A. Rey Pamatmat’s story feels like a whimsical allegory of adolescence where the teens call all the shots in their battles with loneliness, isolation, coming of age and authority figures.
It’s charming when young Edith (Maria Jan Carreon) stands guard over the family home armed with a pellet rifle and bow and arrow, accompanied by her stuffed frog. It’s equally heartwarming when her older brother Kenny (Gideon Bautista) feeds and clothes her and provides emotional support while getting her to school and all the age-appropriate extra-curricular activities on time.
Together the duo seems to have all the answers, which proves useful when Kenny’s study-buddy Benji (Eddie Shields) is forced to live with them because he’s working out his own teenage issues. As a trio, they’re living the adolescent dream, at least until Edith (who does shoot things) actually hits something.
The script sags a bit when the teens are faced with grown-up issues that challenge their utopian existence. But the ensemble is so strong and the direction so tight that they plow through it with the joie-de-vivre of swashbuckling pirates fighting the bad guys (police, boarding school, father).
The fantasy feeling of this sweet little story is greatly enhanced by music and props of the time (early 1990s). A bright orange rotary dial phone, a Rubik’s Cube (masterfully completed twice by Mr. Bautista) and pre-show music like Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” serve to give audience members the soothing feeling of being right back in the Clinton administration.
And like any good allegory, it ends with a moral. When the going gets tough, heed the advice of George Michael, “You Gotta Have Faith.”
If you go
“Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them”
Through June 27
BCA Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston
$25 – $38