Feeling “This”

Wading the waters of early middle age, with aplomb and apprehension.

Friendships and the coming of middle age? If there was a superstore where one could go to shop for drama, these two topics would take up about three full aisles.

Everything is changing, in short, while the things one wishes they could nudge or transform outright won't move an inch. Which makes for rich and flavorful stageworks, like Melissa James Gibson's "This," which is set to open at the Kirk Douglas on Sunday, Aug. 7 (the play went into previews on July 30).

Saffron Burrows and Eisa Davis star as friends dealing with the various vagaries and insecurities dealt to people who can probably no longer be described as up-and-coming (so, they're all 40ish, or about to be). Of course, people at every age grapple with vagaries and insecurities, but the particular issues that arrive at this time of life often summon parenting tensions, little heartaches, and identity questions.

It's certainly an intriguing moment in a persons life, but throw several people together in that moment and well. Wry and prickly comedy ensues, with plenty of dramatic heft to boot. Ms. Gibson's play has gotten a slew of accolade-y love since debuting a couple of years back; she also wrote "(sic)" and "Suitcase, or Those Who Resemble Flies from a Distance." 

"This" runs at the Kirk Douglas through Sunday, Aug. 28.

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