Review by Michael Piscitelli
A play should make you feel. If it doesn’t, it falls short. If it does, it hits you like a truck and makes your heart race. You despise a character or alternatively appreciate an actor for a terrific performance. Lemon by Andrew Markowiak hits the mark as part of Filament Incubator’s #8playsin8months.
Lemon is the story of a girl named Liz (Julia Hussey) coming home after 5 years away, dreading and cursing the slim pickings of the post-school job market, and decides to open a lemonade stand out on her parent’s front lawn.
Liz’s old prom date from high school, Dennis (Danny Ghantous) who never really got over his feelings for her appears and tries to “help” his old crush with more and more ridiculous schemes to take out the competition. This 24-year-old is later met by a most competitive rival, the relentless and ruthless 8-year-old Lucy (LeeAnn Ball) who’s current goal in life is to take out the competition at all costs.
When LeeAnn Ball came on stage as Lucy and started talking business and taking out the competition in truly vicious ways, my first thought I won’t repeat as this is generally a PG blog, but you can imagine how grossly terrified I was that a human so young could turn out so rotten. I was impressed at how angry I was feeling towards the character of Lucy I had to actually force myself out of the moment and remind myself it was a play and not an actual conversation I was randomly watching from about 9 feet away. Julia Hussey brought forth a cool and collected performance of Liz, making Liz into the business-woman she wanted to be while still keeping it relatable, and about how royally screwed my generation actually feels in terms of gainful employment.
As I’ve said in the past, ‘Yorkies’ tend to stick together, and Lemon is no different. Andrew Markowiak (playwright) Cass Brennan (set design) Wes McKenzie (sound design) and Julia Hussey (Liz) are all incredibly talented York grads to name a few. Getting to see my old classmates doing well in the (unfortunately harsh and unforgiving) theatre world and helping each other create their art was a pleasure and I highly recommend getting out to see the show if you can.