Families are, of course, dependable sources of the pain generated from being hurt in love, and playwright David Hare's London and Broadway hit Amy's View explores the this theme in the stormy relationship between a stage mother and her independent daughter.
Gordana Rashovich, whose commanding portrayal of Maria Callas in Master Class packed 'em in last year, is the vibrant focus of this piece as Esme Allen, an actress immersed in the culture and sophistication of the theatre. Her values are suddenly challenged by her son-in-law, Dominic Tyghe (a cocksure Scott Ferrara), whose success as a television interviewer makes him a champion of mass culture.
Caught in-between these self-consumed characters is Amy Thomas, Esme's daughter and Dominic's wife, the title character. Hare sets Amy, a relaxed yet convincingly headstrong Julie Fain Lawrence, as the binding force of "love without conditions" intent on reconciling these two vortices of self-interest who spar over the meaning of art.
In making Amy the point of view for this story, however, Hare ends up missing a grand opportunity at deconstructing the conflict in her marriage and her relationship with her mother. The parallels between the two women are striking. (Esme has a similarly dysfunctional relationship with her friend and financial advisor Frank Oddie-a fine portrait of suppressed emotional life by John Hutton.) Yet, when the confrontation between Amy and Esme comes to a head, Amy's recognition of this mirrored truth is deflected and the play and the actors begin to lose their truth.
Despite some fine performances, this dynamic flaw coupled with the odd choice of wrapping the production amidst the clueless goings on of the stage crew result in the lack of a forceful climax and denouement. The Denver Center Theatre Company's production of David Hare's Amy's View runs through February 24th in the Space Theatre. Box office: 303-893-4100.