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Time Out Theater Review: "Harbor"

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Primary Stages, an off-Broadway theater company, recently launched their 29th season with "Harbor," a dramedy play about 21st century family dynamics. Time Out New York contributing critic David Cote filed the following review.

In recent years, gay rights have made major strides in the U.S. and the West.

Russia is still in the Middle Ages, but that’s another discussion.

The new dramedy, "Harbor," shows just how far we’ve gone.

The play itself is pretty traditional, but its family values are very 21st century.

Written by Chad Beguelin, who penned lyrics for the Broadway musical "Elf" and book and lyrics for "The Wedding Singer," "Harbor" is set in Sag Harbor and revolves around four very clashing personalities.

There’s the happily bourgeois couple, Kevin and Ted.

Ted is a successful, if pressured, architect who supports Kevin, a perpetually procrastinating novelist.

One day, Kevin’s deadbeat sister Donna drops in with her 15-year-old daughter Lottie in tow, and not just for a quick visit.

Pretty soon, the selfish and pregnant Donna has invaded the household and sows discontent.

Lottie, who is more adult than her mom, needs a refuge from all the chaos.

Soon, the cracks show in Ted and Kevin’s supposedly perfect union.

The show is all elegantly directed by Mark Lamos and acted with the right mix of glibness and heart by an appealing ensemble, particularly Alexis Molnar as the mopey Lottie and Paul Anthony Stewart as levelheaded, but condescending Ted.

Harbor does have its cheap, sitcom-like one-liners, and its characters are sometimes a mere notch above stereotype, but there’s style to the play’s construction.

It is a boulevard comedy about how tenuous even the most superficially solid relationships can be.

Like a breezy summer weekend out of town, "Harbor" is a pleasant enough way to spend your time, until the weightier matter of fall gets underway.

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