By CL Staff Wednesday, September 23, 2015
In Symons’s hilarious and penetrating play The Buffalo Kings, seven characters embrace, snipe at, lecture, excoriate, adore, and psychologically strip bare one another for two precious acts of laughter and nihilism. Produced earlier this season at freeFall, Kings brought us suicidal wife and mother Olive, her 15-year-old son and hate-crime victim Nick, Olive’s hypochondriac brother Sam, her unfaithful ex-husband Stuart, viciously honest matriarch Estelle, and patriarch-with-Alzheimer’s Harold.
There was one other character — family friend, and vastly outnumbered former-crack-dealer-turned-Christian Pete Burke — and when they were all together at Christmas, their mutual desperation was both shocking and very funny. There was even a moral to the play: Conflict and unhappiness aren’t proofs of personal failure, and it’s positively normal to face crises as one proceeds through a lifetime. Thanks to Symons’s formidable talent, this wisdom was brought to us in a fully entertaining way.