HuffPo Review: A Flat Yet Fascinating ‘Other Desert Cities’ at Goodman


It’s not hard to understand why Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities is such an effective play. This award-winning compact family drama addresses the notions of deception, trust, loyalty, privacy and integrity using a deliciously straightforward setup: a strong-willed novelist daughter returns home to declare to her well-bred and respected republican family that her next book, set to publish in a few short months, is actually a tell-all memoir uncovering some carefully concealed family secrets — secrets that would unceremoniously topple this family to the ground.

Upon hearing this revelation, matriarch Polly Wyeth (the fragile, yet deceptively fierce, Deanna Dunagan coiffed like a 21st century Nancy Reagan) is the most vocal in her disdain for our daughter’s disregard for privacy and tact. But Brooke (a defensively wry Tracy Michelle Arnold) feels this book isn’t only necessary, it’s essential. She’d rather die than sacrifice her artistic obligation, which is to tell her truth via mass-produced, for-profit print.

Ok. Honestly, I have a hard time relating to Brooke. I mean, she drops this stink bomb right before Christmas Eve dinner and is then surprised by her family’s reaction. She’s insufferable, stubborn and more than a touch self-centered.

Just like her mother. Read the full review on The Huffington Post >>

Related: Read my interview with Tracy Michelle Arnold >>

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