“Sorry” presented by Thalia’s Umbrella

In Rhinebeck, New York, a modest city in the Hudson Valley, the four Apple family siblings are gathered to deal with a looming family issue. Dear Uncle Benjamin, formerly a highly regarded actor, is suffering from a dementia that can no longer be handled at home. It’s time to settle him into a care facility, though he hasn’t yet understood that. He’s perfectly happy living with Barbara, one of his nieces and won’t move happily.

“Sorry” is the third of Richard Nelson’s plays about the Apple family. It takes place in a large living/dining room. Roberta Russell’s set and lighting provide both intimacy and expansiveness, an ideal setting for the sometimes loving, sometimes fraught conversations that take place.

As in the other plays, it’s Election Day. Nelson’s first two plays about the Apple family have been highly lauded for their integration of governmental politics and family issues. He’s a master at connecting the personal and the political. Yet, for me, “Sorry” is much more about family. Of course, the playwright proves that family politics can be and are as intense, as self serving, and as complicated as state and national politics, but it’s this family and their interactions that speak for us all.

The three sisters and their brother banter with each other, tease one another, disagree with one another, laugh together, become frustrated by one another’s quirks. Yet their love for one another is palpable. The playwright so wonderfully captures family dynamics that it’s impossible not to see ourselves in their interchanges. There’s no cataclysmic denouement; rather we find quiet reinforcement of one another during time of need.

Given that relationships are so important, it’s a pleasure to announce that the acting in this production is first rate. Director Daniel Wilson has chosen and worked with his actors well. Macall Gordon, Leslie Law, and Jeanne Paulsen as the sisters are distinct personalities. Terry Edward Moore is the brother who clearly has learned how to navigate within a female roost. William Hall, Jr., effectively waivers between reality and illusion.

Of course, one can play around with symbolic possibilities, say Chekov’s “Three Sisters” or “Uncle Vanya.” Then there’s a jigsaw puzzle that one sister diligently works at. Interestingly it’s Renoir’s “Boating Party,” a painting filled with happy lovers enjoying life’s pleasures. You can look for such things, but it’s not necessary. The nuanced relationships among the siblings are rich enough to make this a good night or afternoon at the theatre.

Through June 26 at 12th Ave. Arts, 1620 12th Ave., Seattle, (www.brownpapertickets.com.)

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