At Marian and Barbara Apple’s house in Rhinebeck, N.Y., it’s time to eat again.
As the lights come up, dimly at first, the women are setting the table—laying silverware, carrying out drinks—and soon enough, the men join them. Marian’s ex-husband is dying of cancer, and she has taken him in, caring for him in another room of the house. There has been a parade of visitors, friends saying their final good-byes, but now it’s late, and just the family remains: the schoolteachers Marian (Laila Robins) and Barbara (Maryann Plunkett); the third sister, Jane (Sally Murphy), a writer, who with her boyfriend, Tim (Stephen Kunken), an actor, has recently moved up to Rhinebeck from the city; their brother, Richard (Jay O. Sanders), now a high-level government lawyer in Albany; and Uncle Benjamin (Jon DeVries), once an actor of some renown, now afflicted with dementia and living at least part of the week at a nursing home. Gathered together, the Apple family, that marvelous creation of the playwright Richard Nelson, will do what it does best: talk—about family, about politics, about, tonight, life and death. Read More