I don't want to say more about the story because the show is running through December 7th, and it really is a not-to-be-missed performance. Note that I am showing great restraint here; the play has such substance that I could go on and on. I would, however, like to lavish some praise on the actresses, who play their parts to perfection.
Last season Sara Morsey portrayed the alcoholic aunt in Other Desert Cities on Florida Rep's main stage. She was terrific with her wild flowing hair and her candid observations. In Collected Stories her character also calls it like she sees it, but her candor comes from an entirely different place. Ruth spends entirely too much time alone--writing, reflecting--and seems a bit surprised by her friendship with Lisa (and a bit out of practice at the give-and-take that's involved in any relationship). I enjoyed Morsey in both roles immensely and would go to a production that wouldn't otherwise be on my list just to see her perform. The young Deanna Gibson also did a wonderful job. She captured the essence of Lisa--a young woman who grows from an insecure student to an accomplished writer during the course of the show. There's a price to be paid for her success, though, and her conflict is persuasively played out on stage.
I know that time is short and calendars are full, but if you have a chance to get to Collected Stories in the next few days, your effort will be well worth it. Next up at Florida Rep's ArtStage Theater is David Sedaris' Santaland Diaries, which tells the story of a down-and-out writer who takes a job as an elf at Macys during the holiday season. I'll be taking my parents to this "for mature elves only" play during their post-Christmas visit. Maybe I'll see you there!