Chapel Hill: Community

‘A Kid Like Jake’ opens Deep Dish season

Jim Moscater and Meredith Sause in ‘A Kid Like Jake,” Daniel Pearle’s comic drama about two parents trying to get their son into an elite kindergarten.
Jim Moscater and Meredith Sause in ‘A Kid Like Jake,” Daniel Pearle’s comic drama about two parents trying to get their son into an elite kindergarten. JONATHAN YOUNG

Two parents looking to place their son in an elite kindergarten find themselves with more than they bargained for in the comic drama “A Kid Like Jake.”

The regional premiere of last year’s Off-Broadway sensation, the play opens the Deep Dish Theater Company’s 14th season at University Mall. It runs through Sept. 20.

Written by Daniel Pearle and directed by Deep Dish resident director Tony Lea, the play follows the efforts of Jake’s mother, Alex (Meredith Sause), and father, Greg (Jim Moscater) as they contend with the admissions process at a handful of prestigious schools. When they are advised to play up the fact that Jake is especially fond of dress-up and playing with princess dolls, their most firmly held beliefs are called into question, and the results are both hilarious and harrowing.

“I really like the writing,” notes Lea. “I love the way the play creates recognizable human behavior from the situation and makes you feel for the parents. They both love their child and want the best for him but the different ways they think they ought to do that cause disagreement and stress. People watching the play will probably sympathize more with one character than another but that allows us the opportunity to reflect on our own perspectives.”

Rasool Jahan and Jess Jones complete the cast of this intimate production. The design staff includes scenic designer Jenni Mann Becker, who designed sets for the Deep Dish productions of “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “The Clean House”; Tori Ralston, who created props for “The Cripple of Inishmaan” and “Life is a Dream”; costumer Pamela Bond, whose work was seen in “Radio Golf,” “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” and “Life is a Dream”; and Deep Dish veterans Elizabeth Grimes Droessler and Marc Maximov, whose lighting and sound work respectively has adorned a host of productions including last season’s “A Queer Kiss” and “Arcadia.” David Berberian is the technical director and Samantha Halstead the stage manager.

Dramaturg Karen Blansfield will present a pre-show “Meet the Play” talk at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5. The Deep Dish Book Selection, “How Children Learn” by Paul Tough, will be discussed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept.16 at the Chapel Hill Public Library.

Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday (matinee) at 2 p.m.

The 2014-15 season will also include “The Landing,” the new musical from John Kander, the composer of “Cabaret!” and “Chicago” (Oct. 31-Nov.22); the New Play Workshop with a playwright-in-residence (Janu. 14-18); “Journey’s End,” the landmark World War I drama by R.C. Sherriff (Feb.27-March 21); and David Ives’ hilarious adaptation of Corneille’s classic French farce, “The Liar” (May 1-23). Season subscriptions are now on sale.

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