The play begins with an initiation process of sorts when New Jack, [Scott Andrews] attempts to join the exclusive team. New Jack is a preppy, spoiled graduate who is immediately disliked by Hummingbird 1, played by Tatiana Gomberg, the leader of the team.
Unfortunately for Hummingbird 1, New Jack is highly skilled and passes the initial test and he is soon a part of the team. Others members include Holly, played by Betty Kaplan, the kooky free spirit whose down for anything, Tempest, the alcoholic screw-up who is one strike away from being kicked off the team [Douglas Rossi, who is the standout performer of the group] and finally Groder [Andrew Rothkin], the team’s connection to the outside world and unofficial parent.
The play explores many themes. One of them is the guilt one faces after a kill, even when you’re a trained professional. Some of the characters ignore it, some let it get to them, some don’t feel anything and some understand it’s a job that must be done.
When they face an enemy, Hari Rahman, voiced by Duncan Pflaster, who they’ve been chasing for years and much to Hummingbird 1’s dismay, New Jack is given the opportunity to kill him on his first day. Eventually, things come to a head and serious decisions must be made.
The team reacts very differently to the new addition to the team. Hummingbird 1 is extremely skeptical and never accepts him and continues to haze him. Holly, on the other hand, is infatuated with Newjack and the two begin a flirtatious relationship.
But things quickly turn serious and that’s where the play truly shines. When Tempest has a breakdown you realize that behind the sarcasm and carelessness there’s real families who have each others’ backs.
Audiences will love play because it’s a fun, and modern look at war and its effect on its solders. While it deals with heavy topics, like sexuality and alcoholism, it never bores you and it never preaches; it lets the audience interpret everything in their own way.
Through all of this, it’s obvious this production is strongly written and is brought to life wonderfully by amazing actors who give each of the characters an added dimension.
As a result, “Hummingbirds” is eye-opening and refreshing.
In the end, you will definitely get your money’s worth.