Closing the generation gap comes tenderly in Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles, which slowly unfolds at the Belfry Theatre during its April 9 to May 5 run.
This gentle dramatic comedy may start with characters who are miles apart, but it calmly comes together over the perils of growing up and growing old.
It begins with a bicycle and 21-year-old Leo. Amid a cross-country cycling trip with his best friend, tragedy strikes and he ends up at his 91-year-old grandmother Vera’s New York City apartment. Over the course of a month, the two squabble and debate, discussing grief, Karl Marx, healing and old age.
Sticking to a single set, this dialogue-centered play captures the relationships between grandson and grandmother, Leo and his girlfriend Bec, and a new love interest, Amanda.
Followers of Herzog may remember the character of Vera Joseph as the Communist party member in Herzog’s 2010 political family drama After the Revolution. Herzog revealed in past interviews that Vera’s mannerisms and history are partially modelled after Herzog’s own grandmother, Leepee, while the rest of the Joseph family are based off Herzog’s step-family.
Since debuting off-Broadway in 2011, 4000 Miles has been performed on stages all over North America and was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
On the Belfry website, Artistic Director Michael Shamata praises Herzog’s exquisite writing, saying he has looking for an opportunity for years to program 4000 Miles into the Belfry schedule. For more information, check out the Belfry website at belfry.bc.ca, or call the box office at (250)-385-6815.
– Felicia Santarossa, contributing writer