Developed by Alley Theatre, Hit Broadway Play Comes Home to Houston
FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS, AND the sometimes-fraught dynamic between fathers and sons, is the subject of Pictures from Home, a poignant and humorous “memory play” written by Sharr White based on photographer Larry Sultan’s 1992 photo memoir of the same name.
Now running through Feb. 11 at the Alley Theatre, Pictures stars Zachary Fine as Larry Sultan, who takes it upon himself to capture the inner lives of his aging parents by casting them in a series of artfully staged photographs doing ordinary things, like reading the newspaper or fixing the vacuum cleaner. Alley Resident Acting Company member Todd Waite plays against type as Larry’s macho dad Irving, whose emotions and vulnerability are exposed over the course of his son’s project; the role was played by Nathan Lane on Broadway in 2023. Susan Koozin stars as Larry’s loving but comically sharp mother Jean; and Rob Melrose directs. In a brilliant bit of meta-staging, photos of the real Larry Sultan’s mom and dad are projected onto screens that drop in and out of the set, prompting the characters onstage to comment upon and critique the images.
Todd Waite as Irving and Zachary Fine as Larry Sultan
Pictures from Home is enjoying a homecoming of sorts, as the work was initially developed and presented as a reading to enthusiastic audiences at the Alley All New Festival in 2020. A fully realized Houston production for the Alley’s Hubbard Theatre stage was preempted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the play found its way to Broadway for a February 2023 run starring Nathan Lane, Zoe Wannamaker, and Danny Burstein. Given that Pictures began as a work-in-progress in Houston, White was keen to have the Alley be the first to present the play post-Broadway.
“The Alley’s audiences will witness a production that’s both unique and different from the Broadway rendition,” said Melrose in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited to share this special experience with them.”
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