“Kimberly Akimbo” is a darkly ironic comedy/drama centering on the short life of a 16 year-old suffering from progeria, a rare rapid-aging disease. Backstage at The Players’ production revels in the sarcastic, caustic undertones of the story while fully exploiting its warm and fuzzy, ruefully funny outer layer.
Director Ellie Pattison is in complete command of the eccentric characters under her care and presents the audience with a perfectly paced, thoroughly enjoyable theatrical experience.
Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire is probably best known for his 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Rabbit Hole,” which became a movie, starring Nicole Kidman. His latest play, “Good People,” is currently the most-produced play of 2012-13. Most recently, he wrote the screenplay for the soon-to-be-released Disney feature, “Oz: The Great and Powerful.”
Lindsay-Abaire is an adept observer of human personality traits and he exposes human foibles in an adroit and entertaining manner. The adults in this play are case studies of parental self-centeredness, presented with humor, love and wry understanding.
The well-chosen, and amply talented, cast is led by Jenny Aldrich Walker as Kimberly Levaco. Walker gently reveals a girl/woman who, in the course of the play, comes to wrest a future for herself where there was none.
Kaylene McCaw gets a lot of laughs as Pattie, Kimberly’s hypochondriac, highly pregnant mother. Ross Boeringer fully informs Buddy, her alcoholic, forgetful father. Jamie Lee Butrum commands the stage as Debra, her homeless and larcenous auntie.
Finally, Bill Peery steals the show as geeky, Dungeon-and-Dragons playing, high-school nerd Jeff.
The production has been greatly enhanced by the efforts of Linda MacCluggage, house manager and dramaturgist; Miranda Margolis, stage manager/sound designer; as well as Brad Pattison lighting design.
IF YOU GO
When: 8 p.m., runs through Feb. 10
Where: The Players Theatre, 838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota