When extended family members live in close proximity to one another—right next door in the case of Cary Players’ Mornings at Seven—calamity, gossip, and family drama are bound to ensue. Paul Osborn’s quiet play, set in 1938 and directed by Tim Wiest, touches on the ties that bind families together and the hidden secrets that threaten to tear them apart.
Cora Swanson and her husband, Theodore (Kate Tonner and Phil Lewis) live together with Cora’s old-maid of a sister, Aaronetta (Debra Grannan). Jealousy and resentment simmer between the two women and, to make matters worse, the womens’ other sister Ida Bolton (Terry Townsend) lives right next door with her brood. Things go even crazier than usual when Ida’s son, Homer (Jon Karnosfky) brings home his long-time fiance Myrtle (Mary Beth Hollmann).
What follows is a close look at the upheaval the families go through over the course of that fateful weekend. Though a bit slow-moving, the production does a beautiful job of bringing these families and their sensitive inner-workings to life. A gorgeous set by Brad Sizemore, the realistic sound of birds chirping in the background, and strong performances tie the action together seamlessly. And Danielle Preston’s costumes, which feature rich floral designs for the ladies, take center stage.
Mornings at Seven is a simple, sweet play, perfect for audiences of all ages. It relays, loud and clear, the all-too-true message that you can’t choose your family but you can choose to love it.