Boston Theater review

If you want plenty to think and argue about, you MUST see the compelling COLLECTED STORIES at the NEW REP in Watertown! Bobbie Steinbach and Liz Hayes take Pulitzer Prize- winning playwright Donald Margulies’ play about a famous author and her protegee, and wrap it around their little fingers.  Through these very carefully calibrated performances we watch the relationship between the acclaimed author  Ruth Steiner and her avid student Lisa Morrison subtly shift from mentor and mentee, to something like mother and daughter, with tinges of “All About Eve”– only trickier.

The play keenly observes the shifting power, the changes in emotional key, and the inversion of the relationship between these two women as time goes on.  (Oddly, Hayes performance shrinks as her character’s fortunes grow, while  Steinbach’s performance grows as her character’s fortunes decline.) Their drama is very keenly observed, by turns funny, heartbreaking, fraught with tension– and all too human. The play climaxes in an epic ethical dilemma: What is art? How does the creative process work? And the really  sticky one: Who owns a story?

COLLECTED STORIES left the audience– including me and the magnificent Marji–arguing! Love when that happens at the theater.

What side of the argument are YOU on?  Let me know! You have until October 30!