Let’s face it, relationships are hard, whether they’re with yourself, your parents, lover(s) or anyone else who matters to you.
In Sylvan Oswald’s “A Kind of Weather,” a 30-something writer called Kid (August Forman) is a trans male in the process of writing his memoir about the transition for editor Rose (Andréa Agosto), who’s getting antsy about that manuscript.
Kid (who is experiencing a bout of writer’s block) gets another obstacle dumped in his way when his dad (who still calls him a girl) shows up unannounced on his Flatbush doorstep and asks to move in. Really? This guy who doesn’t even accept who he is wants them to live together?
But Grey (Andew Oswald, no relation to the playwright) has his own problems, among them guilt for an extramarital affair with Janice (Marci Anne Wuebben), which led to the parental breakup that was followed by the death of Kid’s mother. Grey seems utterly adrift and unable to cope with much of anything.
Time shifts here just as emotions, desire and the weather (which may explain the title) and keeps the characters often muddled and the audience guessing. Kind of like life.
The world premiere of “A Kind of Weather” plays through March 8 at Diversionary Theatre. Director Bea Basso keeps as good a grip on this difficult, time-jumping script as could be imagined.
Kid and Grey open the show with engaging, sometimes intersecting monologues that culminate with Grey asking to stay. When Kid demurs, dad tries to smooth the request with a faux-casual “Do your thing.” Kid counters with “My thing is solitude.”
Jamaica (the island, not the one in Queens) figures here as well. It was the favorite vacation spot of Grey and his wife. It was the place to which she scurried after the split, and where Grey lost her for good.
The play, with its time shifts, metatheatrical monologues, awkward dialogues and the characters’ occasional mental wanderings off into other times, places and circumstances leaves the audience uneasy as well, with the general feeling that nothing is immutable and not just change but loneliness may be the name of the game for humans.
The acting level is high all around, especially between Chicago-based August Forman’s charming Kid and Oswald’s emotionally lost dad. Wuebben’s earthy Janice brings a touch of relative normalcy to Grey’s life.
Agosto is excellent as Kid’s editor Rose, who has her own designs on that relationship and is being pressured by her boss Rick (Salomón Maya) to get that promised manuscript published.
Yi-Chien Lee’s interesting slatted apartment set might be said to reflect the psychological atmosphere of the characters. Or not.
“A Kind of Weather” is a different kind of play, alternately amusing, distancing and just plain strange. It is the first in Diversionary’s “Gender Series,” which will include two more plays this season.
“A Kind of Weather” plays through March 8, 2020 at Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Boulevard in University Heights.
Thursday at 7 pm; Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; Sunday at 2 pm.
Tickets: (619) 220-0097 or www.diversionary.org