Lillian Yuralia

By Barbara Eda-Young
La MaMa ETC, New York City
(2008)

Prouction photo

Lillian Yuralia is a funny little hour-long play, its text playing like disconnected fragments of dream spoken in well-constructed dialect. The performers, particularly Barbara Eda-Young in the title role and Ben Hammer as her neighbor Levy, seem carried through the events of the tale (which are next to incomprehensible for a viewer without much knowledge of the Jewish Lower East Side) by something like tidal power, but the pace of the piece is plodding and heavy.

Although the script's language is poetic, the tale is sparse, and in the latter half it drags its feet. The 99-person theatre on the first floor at La MaMa felt too big for the supposed intensity of the moments shared between the characters, and thanks to this the experience of viewing it was too diluted for much of Eda-Young and Hammer's talent to really affect their audience.

Reviewer: Rachel Lynn Brody