See it if
You've an open mind & patience: like an artichoke, this show is a slow reveal leading to surprising rewards & striking visuals and humor.
Don't See it if
A funny, well acted & well cast rumination on art & existence isn't enough to sit through 3 acts that ripple by as fast as a Zen garden.
Clocking in now at a surprisingly quick 3:05, this play certainly isn't for everyone. No fast paced, obvious situational drama here, rather a subtlety scathing, well observed, slowly revealing study of character and culture.
There's more than a bit of Beckett here, the absurd bleak existential landscape this time transported to an upscale suburban community, numbing in its sameness. Some of the air and stillness in David Hockney's California paintings come to mind.
It could be argued that Rancho Viejo takes a very long route to consider its themes of art, the why's of existence, the ifs of happiness and the meaning, if any, of it all and the wanting of more; but its considered structure and purely theatrical visuals – things unexpected and/or not quite seen before – are worth it, and worth the wait.
The cast is pitch perfect – at times annoyingly so, especially Blum; Winningham wears her doleful longing well and Ethan Dubin's silent, enigmatic, funny and menacing Tater stands out.