Kenneth Lonergan

Facing life not worth living

Petite and perfectly coifed, Vivienne Shub's Gladys Green is, physically, the most together character on stage. But Kenneth Lonergan's The Waverly Gallery is about Gladys' mental state, which is deteriorating rapidly.

Lonergan based his off-Broadway drama - receiving a moving mid-Atlantic premiere at Everyman Theatre - on his grandmother, who died of Alzheimer's disease. The "A" word is never mentioned, however, which may be because The Waverly Gallery is primarily a play about familial love and responsibility, not a disease-of-the-week docudrama.

Still, Shub's Gladys is at the center of it, and under Vincent M. Lancisi's astute direction, the 80-something actress...