Sunday Dinner

Critics

LemonMeter

85 %

Reviews: 13

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Sunday Dinner

Michael Matera, a young priest in the Chicago Archdiocese, returns to his parents’ home in the Bronx after his grandfather dies. The Matera clan is gathering at the family home for Sunday dinner.

Soon after Michael arrives, his retired working-class father Eddie confesses a sin (more like a felony, really) to Michael. It’s a misdeed which could have serious consequences for other members of the family. To Eddie’s dismay, Michael refuses to grant him absolution. There are reasons for this (which won’t be given away here; You’ll have to see the play to find out).

Eddie’s not the only one with secrets. Michael has a few of his own. He’s admitted to himself that he’s gay, but he hasn’t yet come out to his family. Things are about to get more complicated, as Michael’s female ex-lover (who is still interested in him) has also been invited as a guest for Sunday dinner.

Can the Materas withstand the weight of so much sin, secrecy and shame? Would revealing all cleanse the family or destroy it?
Written and directed by Tony Blake.

Reviews

Avatar

The dialogue per-se is not bad and the actors are all professional in bringing their under-written characters to life, but at just about two hours, the evening didn’t jell, creating conflicted feelings amongst the thoughtful audience, which would suggest that the material would be better suited for the limitations of soap-opera than live theatre.

sour - Dale Reynolds - Hollywood Revealed - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Tony Blake's often universally comedic dialogue, always delivered to illicit the most laughter possible by each member of the cast , who thoroughly inhabit their roles, at the end we are left wondering if the family can withstand the weight of so much sin, secrecy and shame. Blake leaves it up to us to decide if telling the truth is worth all the crap it's going to leave in its wake.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

The play’s action revolves around Michael, movingly interpreted by James Tabeek. Kevin Linehan makes us dislike Michael’s boorish brother Ritchie, while Sharron Shayne proved a sympathetic Rose.

sweet - Marilyn Tower Oliver - Los Feliz Ledger - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Expertly segueing from comedy to drama and back, and unafraid to resist leaving things tied up in a neat, pretty bow, Sunday Dinner makes for one richly rewarding family feast.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Elaine L. Mura - LA Splash

Director/author Tony Blake does an excellent job of building up the inevitable progression of secrets coming to light with the aid of a talented ensemble cast who can deliver a quip as well as a painful confession with equal skill. As always, Jeff G. Rack’s set is flawless, as well as Michele Young’s costumes, Brandon Baruch’s and Gregory Crafts’ lighting, and Joseph Slawinski’s sound.

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Magazines - ...read full review


Avatar

Tabeek makes us feel Michael’s pain and guilt over his sinful behavior (in the eyes of the church).

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

You have to see the play yourself, since to describe the amusing, if sometimes tragic conflicts, would give it all away. Go and discover it.

sweet - Morna Murphy Martell - Theatre Spoken Here - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott

A family so dysfunctional whose members, idiosyncratic in themselves, comes together, occupy Tony Blake’s Sunday Dinner. The playwright also directs this fine cast. The family springs to life under Blake’s intricate machinations, as one stunning revelation follows another. Typical of Theatre 40’s best work, this cast works well together. There is never a dull moment in the Matera family, and you’ll be entertained until the dinner is in shambles. Few families could survive the extent of these revelations; mercifully, however, there is redemption by the end the evening.

sweet - Leigh Kennicott - ShowMag - ...read full review


Avatar

...the production stumbles in some aspects of its execution, but manages to captivate through a strong, tension-filled plot.

sweet-sour - Nikki Munoz - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

Fortunately, the action focuses on the family dynamics and those relationships all ring true, as does blaming Ellen DeGeneres for “everybody saying they’re gay.” This is a compelling work that will make you feel like a part of a family hopefully more dysfunctional than your own.

sweet - Laura Foti Cohen - Larchmont Buzz - ...read full review


Carol Kaufman Segal

Theatre 40, in Beverly Hills, is presenting the world premiere of Sunday Dinner,  the latest play written by well-known playwright Tony Blake who also directs thr very talented cast.

sweet - Carol Kaufman Segal - Carol's Culture Corner - ...read full review


Avatar

SUNDAY DINNER can be shocking at times based upon the opinions and viewpoints expressed through its characters. This is what makes this play shine throughout!

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

While not a kitchen-sink drama as such—the action has moved to the prim and slightly kitschy dining room and living room—the environment is all important. The neighborhood is changing: New waves of immigrants have moved in. The food they eat, the languages they speak, and the clothes they wear are all unfamiliar. Now that Grandpa has died—he lived in the apartment above—it’s time to move out, to Brooklyn, Connecticut or New Jersey, and unload this property which is rapidly decreasing in value.

Anywhere they move is going to be more expensive, so it becomes a critical question how to divide up the proceeds from the sale of this house. Will money exert a stronger pull on their behavior than their loyalty to family?

That’s the central question of the play (seen opening night, Jan. 16), but it comes wrapped in a whole cocoon of other issues both personal and familial: ancient sibling rivalries, lies, failures and flaws, jealousy, lust and illusion, PTSD, old vs. new theology, and I could go on.

sweet-sour - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Avatar

The dialogue per-se is not bad and the actors are all professional in bringing their under-written characters to life, but at just about two hours, the evening didn’t jell, creating conflicted feelings amongst the thoughtful audience, which would suggest that the material would be better suited for the limitations of soap-opera than live theatre.

sour - Dale Reynolds - Hollywood Revealed - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Tony Blake's often universally comedic dialogue, always delivered to illicit the most laughter possible by each member of the cast , who thoroughly inhabit their roles, at the end we are left wondering if the family can withstand the weight of so much sin, secrecy and shame. Blake leaves it up to us to decide if telling the truth is worth all the crap it's going to leave in its wake.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

The play’s action revolves around Michael, movingly interpreted by James Tabeek. Kevin Linehan makes us dislike Michael’s boorish brother Ritchie, while Sharron Shayne proved a sympathetic Rose.

sweet - Marilyn Tower Oliver - Los Feliz Ledger - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Expertly segueing from comedy to drama and back, and unafraid to resist leaving things tied up in a neat, pretty bow, Sunday Dinner makes for one richly rewarding family feast.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Elaine L. Mura - LA Splash

Director/author Tony Blake does an excellent job of building up the inevitable progression of secrets coming to light with the aid of a talented ensemble cast who can deliver a quip as well as a painful confession with equal skill. As always, Jeff G. Rack’s set is flawless, as well as Michele Young’s costumes, Brandon Baruch’s and Gregory Crafts’ lighting, and Joseph Slawinski’s sound.

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Magazines - ...read full review


Avatar

Tabeek makes us feel Michael’s pain and guilt over his sinful behavior (in the eyes of the church).

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

You have to see the play yourself, since to describe the amusing, if sometimes tragic conflicts, would give it all away. Go and discover it.

sweet - Morna Murphy Martell - Theatre Spoken Here - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott

A family so dysfunctional whose members, idiosyncratic in themselves, comes together, occupy Tony Blake’s Sunday Dinner. The playwright also directs this fine cast. The family springs to life under Blake’s intricate machinations, as one stunning revelation follows another. Typical of Theatre 40’s best work, this cast works well together. There is never a dull moment in the Matera family, and you’ll be entertained until the dinner is in shambles. Few families could survive the extent of these revelations; mercifully, however, there is redemption by the end the evening.

sweet - Leigh Kennicott - ShowMag - ...read full review


Avatar

...the production stumbles in some aspects of its execution, but manages to captivate through a strong, tension-filled plot.

sweet-sour - Nikki Munoz - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

Fortunately, the action focuses on the family dynamics and those relationships all ring true, as does blaming Ellen DeGeneres for “everybody saying they’re gay.” This is a compelling work that will make you feel like a part of a family hopefully more dysfunctional than your own.

sweet - Laura Foti Cohen - Larchmont Buzz - ...read full review


Carol Kaufman Segal

Theatre 40, in Beverly Hills, is presenting the world premiere of Sunday Dinner,  the latest play written by well-known playwright Tony Blake who also directs thr very talented cast.

sweet - Carol Kaufman Segal - Carol's Culture Corner - ...read full review


Avatar

SUNDAY DINNER can be shocking at times based upon the opinions and viewpoints expressed through its characters. This is what makes this play shine throughout!

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

While not a kitchen-sink drama as such—the action has moved to the prim and slightly kitschy dining room and living room—the environment is all important. The neighborhood is changing: New waves of immigrants have moved in. The food they eat, the languages they speak, and the clothes they wear are all unfamiliar. Now that Grandpa has died—he lived in the apartment above—it’s time to move out, to Brooklyn, Connecticut or New Jersey, and unload this property which is rapidly decreasing in value.

Anywhere they move is going to be more expensive, so it becomes a critical question how to divide up the proceeds from the sale of this house. Will money exert a stronger pull on their behavior than their loyalty to family?

That’s the central question of the play (seen opening night, Jan. 16), but it comes wrapped in a whole cocoon of other issues both personal and familial: ancient sibling rivalries, lies, failures and flaws, jealousy, lust and illusion, PTSD, old vs. new theology, and I could go on.

sweet-sour - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review