The arrival of a Whole Foods in their gentrifying neighborhood doesn’t signify an opportunity to get fresh vegetables and gourmet cheeses but just the distressing fact that there's one less place where they can buy cheap groceries.
And when an outsider bearing a platter of sandwiches from Whole Foods arrives at the wake, he unsettles them precisely because he is the exception to the rule that says there’s no hope of making it over to the other side.
That outsider is Bait Boy, Krista’s former lover. He’s gotten over by taking up with a successful realtor in Atlanta and now lives in her nice home, instead of a pay-by-the-week flophouse like the Hummingbird. He wears preppyish khakis and shirts and asks his old friends to call him by his real name, Greg.
Those speeches go on admittedly too long. But they’re also a needed reminder that the folks at the margins of society—the panhandlers, the people pushing shopping carts filled with the odds and (mainly) ends of their lives—are real human beings who, as my mother used to say, only by the grace of God, might be us.
For D'Amour is comfortable in the world of the have-nots. Her earlier play, Detroit focused on the downward mobility of middle-class suburbanites and it drew big praise from the mainstream critics when it was produced at Playwrights Horizons in 2012.
But many of those critics have been far less enthusiastic about this one, dismissing it as derivative, a word that somehow rarely gets used when talking about the scores of plays about middle class ennui that are turned out and produced year after year.