The Young Man From Atlanta

By:Horton Foote
Director:Robert Falls
Thomas Lynch
Costumes:David C. Woolard
Lighting:James F. Ingalls
Music and Sound:Richard Woodbury
Opened:3/97 at the Longacre Theater
Cast:Rip Torn, Shirley Knight, William Biff McGuire, Marcus Giamatti, Jacqueline Williams, Kevin Breznahan, Beatrice Winde, Pat Nesbit and Stephen Trovillion

When Knight's Lily Dale folds her skirts each time she sits down and announces, “Everything's in place now,” one rightly suspects that there's some emotional disorder lurking in Horton Foote's 1995 Pulitzer Prize-winning play. It's the saga of a Houston family whose lives are changed forever when a visit from a young stranger forces them to examine their beliefs and divulge their most closely held secrets. Falls's direction evenhandedly squares comedy with pathos and elicits compassionate performances from Knight and especially Torn, whose range of expression is at the core of the emotional drama. Refreshingly, Foote resists the temptation to blow open the play in a revelatory explosion and instead allows his characters to hold tightly to the comfort of illusion.