Fearlessly Offbeat

The Loman Family Picnic features a wacky surrealism

Maybe the best way to evoke the odd and intriguing flavor of The Loman Family Picnic is to recount the ending -- or rather, endings. After throwing a bar mitzvah way beyond the budget of his blue-collar Brooklyn family, the father (Peter Friedman of TV's Brooklyn Bridge) storms out in rage at being unappreciated, his son's wad of cash gifts stuck precariously in his back pocket. He returns hours later, explaining that he has been watching the "dumb" movie Born Free. In one variation, his bored wife (two-time Tony Award winner Christine Baranski) chucks him out. In another, she commits suicide...

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