Janice, the kooky teenage daughter in Sheila Callaghan's odd little play Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake), has a difficult time communicating with just about anyone other than her photos of the fabulous JT. Who hasn't indulged in a celebrity fixation? Even Janice's mom once had a thing for Harrison Ford. But mother and daughter don't talk much because they're working through that, you know, awkward phase. Despite precious little verbal give-and-take in this Echo Theatre production, Kirsten Wylder imbued Janice's mother with valiant restraint, staving off anger and seeking understanding instead. And as difficult as Janice was, Chelsea Serocke brought out just enough of the young woman beneath the teen's grungy façade to make the audience care. Eric Little, who runs Echo Theatre, says that he's "drawn to characters who try to connect and fail miserably." This mother-daughter combo certainly fit the bill — but their connection with the audience was heartfelt and lasting.
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