Now playing at Steppenwolf Theatre, You Got Older reminds us that we don’t stay in one place as we journey through life.
Caroline Neff is the phenomenal actress playing Mae, a young, single woman who loses her job and her man, and she inherits the responsibility to care for her aging and ailing father. We see on display fear, anxiety, sexual fantasies and sexual realities. The inherent feeling of incompleteness rears its ugly head.
We also see how love and loss can impact our abilities to succeed in spite of our efforts. And our need to be valued is illuminated. There are many characters introduced which is in perfect alignment to the pacing of the play. There are many ideas that collide in a way that brings our loved ones back to us. There are constant collisions in life in this form. The ideas and many working parts on how a brother, sister, father and a son all have a relationship and family as we all get older are revealed.
Actress Neff is more than a natural. Her acting prowess connects the writer and director’s direction to forge and fill the valley of emptiness that is often found when one has been rejected by a lover, unemployed and back at home trying to fix what is –- reconnecting to a disconnected parent.
One of her saving graces is the presence of her sister’s potential beau (played by Glenn Davis) who is a stranger at first but the two become quite close.
Davis’ character gives rise to the idea of relationships growing to fulfill a void. He brings the comedy full force and his personality showcases the oddity of love.
Davis’ performance highlights the expression of connectedness to an emotion that comedy can give rise to the emotions that we often share. His level of playfulness brings the character to life.
The father (Francis Guinan) plays a witty character who many of us have seen as we grow older and understand that life is not permanent. He is the father. He is not about to change. Even though his life is coming to an end, he still chooses not to understand his children or his identity.
You Got Older is a play that produces moments where you feel connected. This play serves as a great example of what many of us have experienced in our lives, watching a family member die, disconnections from and connections to siblings.
You Got Older is now showing at Steppenwolf Theatre Company until March 11. Go to Steppenwolf.org or call the box office at (312) 335–1650 for details and ticket pricing.