Reckless – Play Review

Reckless – Play Review

Reckless, a spooky, comedy, action, murder mystery is currently running at the San Jose Stage Company. Written by a gifted playwright Craig Lucas, the play is brilliantly directed by Kenneth Kelleher. Jamie L. Johnson has done an outstanding job as Stage Manager, beautifully utilizing the quirkiness of the stage, and Halsey Varady’s acting, in the role of Rachel, is absolutely fantastic.

Rachel is the chirpy wife and mother of two, with a brain that runs a mile a minute, jumping from topic to topic, as if powered by strong stimulants. Her quiet despondent husband took out a contract on her life, on X’mas eve, (talk about spooky presents), but balked before the act happened. In a fast moving plot, Rachel throws the wedding ring out of the window, and finds herself on a strange journey. Is it real or imagined? Who is to say? Sometimes life unfolds, with all its improbability and coincidences and twist and turns, in a strangely random, unpredictable, unplanned and ridiculously funny manner. Doesn’t it? Or is she imagining her journey that frees her and sends her on a path of adventure and a quest for self-identity, in a Wizard of Oz kind of way? Well, haven’t your imagination carried you to far and distant places too?

Off she goes with a strange man, and lives with him and his wife, who is partly physically challenged and partly faking it. You have to see the play to understand this. Rachel goes on the talk show and wins big money, goes through therapy, witnesses murders, goes on a run, and finally her chirpiness along with life’s calamity drives away her only companion, before she retreats into a silent world. Only then she finds the balance and an opportunity to right some of the wrongs. This is a story about self-discovery, both through acceptance of trials and tribulations that life dishes out and through spunk and tenacity to take the risks and meet life half way.

“Reckless” is running at the San Jose Stage Company till December 16, 2012.

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