THE STORY: Friendship is the tie that binds in this bittersweet and candid look at remembered love, forgotten promises, living with choices and dying with dignity. A PLACE AT FOREST LAWN follows the journey of discovery, peace and ultimate reconciliation taken by Clara, a cantankerous old lady, and her devoted best friend, Gertrude. As Clara comes to terms with the choices she has made in her life, she must confront Jack, her estranged son. She and Gertrude also encounter an impressionable young priest, their stoned-out, fun-loving driver and an aged movie actor who still has an eye for the ladies as well as his own version of the truth. After receiving a bill for an expensive mausoleum, Jack comes back to town expecting his mother to be dead, only to find her very much alive. He stays for a few days to work out her affairs, but their close physical proximity fuels age-old tensions and causes deeply buried secrets to come to light with painful results. Gertrude searches for a meaningful existence at this stage of her life and becomes part of a volunteer program at the hospital, but that too has its consequences. Each character comes to realize their own personal truth while attaining an understanding of those they love…but not without a price. A PLACE AT FOREST LAWN surprises with humor, comforts with insight and charms with intriguing characters. On a simple set where subtle lighting, smart dialogue and dynamic acting deliver emotional revelations, this vibrant play peels back layers to reveal the essential truths of life. For every child and parent, A PLACE AT FOREST LAWN encourages us to simply be there for each other, no matter what age.
“Yankee and Bontempo cleverly interweave a slew of issues around death and dying with a cohesive dramatic arc between mother, son, and best friend, producing a tapestry in which forgiveness brings a final peace.” —Variety.
“Surprises appear from every corner of the stage, as the six characters are rattled, shaken loose, closed down, split wide-open, pieced back together with biting words, sliced humor, gentility, loyalty, and love. Guaranteed to spark discussion, as well it should; guaranteed to stretch some minds and imaginations, as well it should; the characters won’t soon be forgotten, with their brisk humor, and honesty that walks hand in hand with misunderstood deception…A PLACE AT FOREST LAWN will have you smiling, and laughing while your brain is saying 'Whoa, let’s run that by one more time.'” —Colorado Backstage.
“A glorious comedy about the reunion of a career obsessed son with his mother at a rest home filled with delightful, cleverly realized characters.” —Desert Post Weekly.