In "White Horse/Black Horse," playwright Steven Stosny mistakes the Theater of the Absurd for revealed Truth, instead of what it has become - a passing fad. After a reading production in March, his impressionistic play is being given a full staging at the New Playwrights' Theatre. Well, you can't win 'em all.
We meet a grandfather, father, an older son and a younger son who bicker and fight in a beach house. It is the deadliest dull foursome to be publicity exposed in quite a spell. A mailman is their sole outside contact until, at the end of Act 1, a young girl, as she insists on being called, arrives at the door.
By Act 11 she has brought order, new furnishings and carpeting to the house and given herself to the three older men, withholding her favors from the youngest "until our time comes." This youth has two horses. which prompts the single line of Stony's play which I found amusing, indeed telepathic: "I'm going out and brush my horses." Trying to bring love to a battling household, the firl carries what I perhaps simplify as Stony's message: Love one another.
There are pointed allusions to Cain and Abel, Pinter's "The Homecoming," Shaffer's "Equus," several T. Williams dramas and other works, as well as to the Beatitudes.While it may be impressive that Stony has mined philosophy and literature, he should not be encouraged in his passion for the murky, the opaque and the obvious.
One cannot fault the perfomance under Alan Donovan's direction, for the six players convey belief in their characters. As the youngest, hence the least touched by the world, Gardner Hathaway exerts some sympathy for the fellow, but "White Horse/Black Horse" is an event of bone-crushing monotony.