With plenty of homage to the sitcom storytelling devices of yesteryear, combined with unbridled grit and honesty and its share of great laughs, “Lost and Found” deserves more than an encore at the Fringe Festival.
It belongs on Broadway.
The writing of this play manages to encompass a wide range of human emotion. This makes it have a little bit of something for everyone. Taking place in the kitchen and living room of the Broncato family from Boston, you instantly feel at home, regardless of their dysfunctions. Sexist, racist, angry and lewd, their emotions are their for all to see.
The way they speak and act, they feel like your own family. Weak and full of problems, but loveable and true to one another, you’ll get comfortable quickly.
In the end, because of this, the connection between these characters and the audience is what fuels this performance.
But it isn’t just the trio of the family that you root for. Every character has something they need to make themselves happy and all of them are relatable. From Vincent, [played by Jon Krupp] the gay son looking to find the mother who gave him up, to Betty [played by Reiko Aylesworth, “24”] who is involved with the gritty man of the Broncato house and detective, Tommy [played by the show’s writer, Pollono], while her husband is in Iraq, every one is hiding something.
The only person not hiding anything is Alex, Vincent’s boyfriend [Bill Brochtrup, “NYPD Blue,” “Days of our Lives”]. His candor and exuberance will remind old TV buffs of Billy Crystal’s days on “Soap” or Jack from “Will and Grace.” His role is also responsible for many of the plot transitions in what can easily be called an excellent supporting performance.
However, none of their stories are as compelling as the matriarch of the Broncato home, Eva [The Sopranos’ Geraldine Librandi]. Old-school to the core, Eva has more secrets than anyone in her home and her relationship problems over the years are much worse than her spunky college-student daughter Marie [played by the energetic and charming Dana Domenick].
After her husband’s death, Eva is forced to keep her secrets deep inside to keep her family together. Seeing her inner-strength and stubbornness from the beginning, her eventual opening-up is heartfelt. A stereotypical family at first, every character learns something and opens up, with Eva leading the way in the end.
As a result, you have a show with staying power that will have you thinking about it for days. Not many plays can induce laughter one second and tears the next, but that’s exactly what this one does.
Honest, yet wacky and candid, “Lost and Found” is helped by a great cast, but it’s on the strength of an excellent script by Pollono that it thrives.