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Clean Break

Whereas the 1950s seemed to inspire playwrights with the wide expanse of social concerns, contemporary writers often view these issues more intimately, exploring the way such pressures are played out in private personal choices. Local playwright Darryl Schneider’s Clean Break begins as a play about a daughter, played by Andrea Andolina, coping with a father, played by John Fredo, who has a gambling addiction. This turns out just to be the setup for her character’s inability to cope with the loss of an impossible relationship.

The writing is smart and realistic; the script—filled with powerful insights and surprises—has been delivered under the efficient and astute direction of Derek Campbell.

Andolina and Fredo are masterful in their performances, imbuing the characters with passion and reality. We are presented with two likable people whose relationship as father and daughter should provide a solid and enduring bond—but doesn’t.

There are times when the journey of the scenes seems to meander through excess minutia, but the direction and acting guides us past this. This premiere production gives the gifted playwright an opportunity to refine a very engaging and thought-provoking script.

The production continues through Sunday at Road Less Traveled Theater (Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre, 639 Main Street, 1-800-745-3000).