Where We're Born at Nimbus Theatre

Claire Avitabile

The characters in Lucy Thurber's new play feel like they're trapped in a Bruce Springsteen song: young working-class folks trying to navigate life in a small town they know they aren't ever going to escape. They drink a lot of Budweiser, smoke plenty of weed, and listen to rock that was "classic" before they were even born. Yet there's a lot more going on under the surface of this engaging coming-of-age tale, one that delves into awakening sexuality, deep and ingrown sexism, and the confused desire to find "home." The play turns on Lilly, a local who has broken out of her East Coast small town and is attending college. She's back on break, eager to fall back into some old patterns with her cousin Tony, his girlfriend Franky, and a pair of townies, Vin and Drew. Except that some new desires have awoken in Lilly — ones that draw her into Franky's arms. Their quick affair throws the lives of the main trio of characters into turmoil. Thurber's script is sharp, funny, and insightful, and she has really caught the ear of characters unable to articulate clearly how they are feeling, but who try gamely to be honest at every turn. The company, under the steady direction of Leah Cooper, takes this material and runs with it, quickly creating the bonds of family and friendship that bind the characters together and bringing home a finale that is both heartbreaking and hopeful.

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