One November Yankee lands safely at Delaware Theatre Company before it’s next destination off-Broadway in December. Written and Directed by Joshua Ravetch, we are taken on a 90 minute journey of three interwoven stories of three pairs of siblings all played by TV legends Stephanie Powers (Hart to Hart) and Harry Hamlin (L.A. Law and Clash of the Titans movie). However, the star of this production and the epicenter of these stories is the lifelike single engine Piper cub plane designed by Dana Moran Williams and complimented by the lighting design of Scott Cocchiaro.
When we first meet 1NY as an art installation at the Museum of Modern Art and introduced to Ralph (Hamlin) and Maggie (Powers). Artist and Art Commissioner siblings, respectively. Powers from the start commands the room as a woman with distinction. When we first meet Hamlin, he is cartoonishly dressed as an “artist” with black shirt and scarf. He comes out and tosses the one side of the scarf over his shoulder much like Snoopy does before taking his trip on the Red Baron. It was then quickly established we would be in for a turbulent ride.
Two siblings bickering over entitlement, profession, and gravitas for 30 minutes a piece. The second scene had pilot Margo and her brother Harry as the victims of the plane crash that took place five years prior. Harry, on his deathbed. Hamlin adorned a thick Jewish accent as Harry and remained laid in an awkward position for another 30 minutes. Neither was comfortable to watch but did provide a chuckle or two.
Scene three follows Ronnie and Mia, two sibling hikers who come across 1NY years later. Here, Hamlin was in his natural habitat where Powers was adorned with a baseball hat/wig combo that was distracting. This union wasn’t as fleshed out as the previous couplings but provided the finishing touches to the relationships beforehand.
The play concludes back at the MOMA after the exhibit opening and with an ending that was so quick that I had to simmer on it to grasp its intentions. Unbeknownst prior to attending this opening, Harry Hamlin played this role in the first full scale production on the west coast. I would have assumed this was his first go around. The rhythm was off. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my time at DTC seeing two tv icons I grew up with.
The Philadelphia area is lush with star-power this fall (Bebe Neuwirth is over at PTC) and it’s bringing new people to the theatre. For that, I am thankful.
One November Yankee runs through November 10th at Delaware Theatre Company.