Its silly title belies what a cracking good play Bekah Brunstetter’s Be A Good Little Widow really is. Its commentaries on love, marriage, death and grieving are potent but not ponderous, and a talented four-person cast on the Old Globe’s Sheryl and Harvey White stage generates laughter, surprise and just the right number of lump-in-your-throat moments. Primary among them is the good little widow herself, Zoe Winters, whose Melody is fun to watch even when she’s suffering. (She loses her young husband, Craig, in a plane crash.) Not only is Winters gifted at the art of physical comedy, but her wide-eyed double takes are ideally suited to the play’s shifting light and darkness. As the lost Craig’s tightly controlled mother, Hope, Christine Estabrook is free-spirited Melody’s polar opposite, yet both are torn apart and need each other more than either would admit. The one-act evolution of their relationship in the midst of mourning is what makes Be A Good Little Widow so damned good.
David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.