Reviewed by Sarah Roche
“Reckless” by Craig Lucas begins on Christmas Eve with an intoxicatingly optimistic Rachel (Alison Maria Fasolino) reminiscing about Christmases of the recent past and her and her young children’s excitement over the holiday. Fasolino is a wonderful fit for this part; she portrays the effervescent yet grating over-exuberance of a mother bubbling over with words but unable to stop for a moment to see that nothing is as it seems. Rachel gets a rude awakening when her husband, Tom (Andrew Bryce), confesses that he has hired a contract killer to end the one-sided conversation for good.
In his guilt, Tom shows that he also is unwilling to look at the reality of his actions, shoving his wife out the window with the direction to head to a neighbor’s house and they will solve all these problems in the morning. Rachel isn’t quick to forgive and instead runs away, taking the audience with her on a 16-year journey that centers around Christmas and the idea that no one is ever who he or she claims.
This play banks on coincidences and false truths, spanning 16 years, a number of different Springfields and a few deaths. “Reckless” is at times over the top, consistently coincidental and has a healthy dose of laughs. The play is certainly entertaining. Rachel’s multiple trips to therapists that are more interested in pushing their perceptions on her than listening to her are splendidly executed by Fasolino and professional performer and Binghamton University Professor Anne Brady.
Dustin Hirthler plays two roles, first as game show host Tom Timko, then as a talk show host. His exaggerated performances in these roles are excellent; he keeps the audience laughing, and his performance assists with the fantastical aspirations of the play. I did take issue with one instance of doubling up: Suzannah Herschowitz plays both Pooty, a not-so-mute paraplegic, and The Talk Show Guest, a convict whose pride is bordering on bloodlust. Hershowitz is splendid in both parts, but because both of her characters sport her long, blonde hair, I found the doubling up confusing during the talk show scene.
In all, “Reckless” is another excellent performance by Binghamton University’s Theatre Department. “Reckless” runs through Oct. 23. Tickets can be purchased online at the Anderson Center website or at the door.