|Monday, April 23, 2001 Raleigh
News & Observer
Carrying a 'Tune' (Excerpts
The music stands
By Linda Belans
"The script, which Storer
directs in this workshop production, is culled from memories, conversations,
Web postings and Thompson's own words in an unfinished biography Eustice
found. So much is right with this work-in-progress, which toggles back
and forth through time, contrasting Tommy before and after the diagnosis."
"There's humor, too. There
would have to be with Tommy as the central character."
"Eustice, Hunt and Storer
go deeper. They zero in on the inverse relationship of Tommy's decline
to his growing connection to his daughter. ... And they focus on the unrelenting
demands on Eustice and the decisions that have to made and the guilt for
"As such a personal play,
"A Tune for Tommy" has inherent challenges to work as a piece of theater
and not a mere tribute. For the most part, the play triumphs."
"David Ring plays
the central character and uncannily captures some of Tommy's mannerisms:
the cock of his head when entertaining an idea, a particular twinkle in
his eye, his halting speech."
as Jessie (Daughter, she's called), handles her part well. Daughter could
easily slip into martyrdom or become maudlin. But Edmundson doesn't tell
us how to feel. She offers us a wall to hang our own family photos on as
she both narrates and interacts with Ring."
"'A Tune for Tommy' is Daughter's
story told in a clear-eyed way that offers us a means for thinking about
our own -- another opportunity to get it right, even when we think it's
done. As T.S. Eliot says, 'What we call the beginning is often the end/And
to make an end is to make a beginning/The end is where we start from.'"
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