The Last Seder | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Last Seder, Organic Theater Company. In Jennifer Maisel's new play, Marvin Price has Alzheimer's. His wife, Lily, is preparing to put him in a nursing home and sell their house. And the whole family, including the couple's four daughters, will assemble for a last Passover together. Claire returns with her unassertive husband, Julia with her lesbian partner and a baby on the way. Angel comes alone, though she has an unrequited crush on the boy next door, and Michelle shows up with a stranger, someone she met at the train station and invited to seder.

Before the celebration is over, of course, revelations are made, reversals transpire, and emotions burst forth. Yet enacting the intricate holiday ritual, as disturbed and turbulent as it is here, suddenly and miraculously unites the troubled clan. And because director Joseph Megel and his industrious ensemble, led by Roslyn Alexander and William J. Norris as the elder Prices, have made us like these people, we're willing to accept every by-the-numbers crisis and tear-tugging moment in a play as driven by formula as the rite that shapes it. Maisel's copious helpings of warmth and affection render her play's happy if slightly ambiguous ending welcome.

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