It’s been said you can’t choose your family, and according to David Lindsay-Abaire’s play “Ripcord,” often you can’t choose your roommates either.
Abby, played by Lakeside Little Theatre veteran Georgette Richmond, is very territorial about her room at the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility. When talkative Marilyn — Barbara Pruitt making her LLT debut — is assigned to share the two-bed living quarters, Abby is having none of it. Refereeing their bickering is Scotty — the always reliable Zane Pumiglia — a nurse and go-to employee of the Facility.
When it is revealed that the bitter Abby does not scare and optimistic Marilyn will not get angry, a bet between the two women drives the plot into one-upmanship while revealing each character’s cracks and crevices. As soon as a vulnerability is exposed in one woman the other rips at it like a lioness on fresh meat. Can Marilyn bring Abby to feel fear, a feeling she claims to have conquered? Abby believes she can stir up anger in Marilyn, who swears she no longer wastes time or energy on that particular emotion.
The three lead actors are all up to the task of the push and pull necessary to be conniving yet sympathetic. Oddly, the two women actually seem a bit young to be living in a senior facility with the ability to read and do Sudoku puzzles without glasses or good lighting. But just as Lakeside audiences are forgiving when older actors play younger parts so it goes in reverse as well.