'Falling' review: a moving play on autism

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Julia Murney as Tami and Daniel Everidge as

Julia Murney as Tami and Daniel Everidge as Josh in "Falling"at Minetta Lane Theater. (2012) Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

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This sounds like a Lifetime movie, but don't be fooled. "Falling," which has practically crept into town from the Mustard Seed Theatre in St. Louis, is an unflinching and unsanitized drama about family life with a severely autistic 18-year-old boy.

Directed with enormous sensitivity and edge by Lori Adams, Deanna Jent's exhausting, strangely exhilarating new play deserves to be far more than a destination for autism fundraising benefits and people with personal investment in that isolating world.

Daniel Everidge feels real enough to be scary as Josh, the huge, increasingly dangerous child-man whose demands dominate the loving, frightened lives of his mother (Julia Murney, in a rare and heartfelt break from musical theater), his father (Daniel Pearce), his resentful teenage sister (Jacey Powers) and the grandmother (Celia Howard) still clinging to her faith. A brief fantasy scene is as shocking as it is expertly done.


WHAT "Falling"

WHERE Minetta Lane Theatre, 18 Minetta Lane

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INFO $39.50; 800-982-2787; fallingplay.com

BOTTOM LINE Major play about autism and much more

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