See it if
you're a veteran or know someone who is, in this evening of often raw argument dealing with family, health & political disillusionment.
Don't See it if
You expect a fleshed out play rather than a series of positions however well performed, in this therapeutic discourse on family, vets and duty.
More a set of positioned arguments than a tightly centered drama, this well intentioned platform isn't for everyone, but will be cathartic to some, addressing long neglected issues important to veterans and families.
At times raw & graphic, Shades deals with the distance, secrets & destructive silence that can fill the void when trauma overtakes communication, understanding & sometimes even love among families and individuals.
However therapeutically effective, argument isn’t dramatic conflict and so the play is unfocused, stretched thin by its ambition. It becomes a list of issues: the governmental lies of WW II, Viet Nam & agent orange, Japanese internment camps, the poor medical care of the VA, issues of women in the military, the loneliness of the disabled, sex and the limits of friendship and compassion, the ethics of suicide — all against the pull of duty and honor.
The actors are well cast and very committed, Holly Walker’s disabled June the quiet strength, anchor & humor of the night.