Between Riverside and Crazy

Left Edge Theatre, Santa Rosa
Runs through November 10, 2019

Corey Jackson as Pops and Jared N. Wright as Oswaldo. Photo by Katie Kelley.

The 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama, Between Riverside and Crazy tops a long list of remarkable, edgy plays by American playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis. His ability to blend comedy and darkness, the rough with the smooth, in plays likeThe Mother****er with the Hat and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, shimmers with social commentary and sizzling satire. He’s also good at a kind of magical realism, in-your-face American style, that offers up surprises for the heart and a gentle hope for humanity.

Walter “Pops” Washington (Corey Jackson) occupies a spacious New York apartment on upscale Riverside Drive, which he swears he’ll never leave because rent control keeps its current costs at one-tenth its value. He shares the space with his recently-paroled son, Junior (Sam Ademola), Junior’s fiancée Lulu (Pilar Gonzales) and Junior’s recovering addict friend Oswaldo (Jared N. Wright). A motley bunch, living off Pops’ pension as an ex-cop and engaging in various low-level scams for spare change.

Pops lost his wife to cancer within the past year; the aging Christmas tree in the background bears testament to his inability to accept her passing, and his bitterness and anger affect his relationships with the living. When young Lulu confides in him about her pregnancy, the news provides a glimmer of hope in his otherwise bleak outlook. . . .

To continue reading about this production, see the full review at Sonoma County Gazette:
Between Riverside and Crazy