Do you know someone with ADD? Who doesn’t. Who isn’t? All our circuits are overloaded these days. Lisa Loomer’s cautionary tale of a comedy, DISTRACTED (playing at the Cambridge Theatre through June 9th) is a delightful send-up of the medical professionals who seem happy to rely on drugs to make children more “manageable”—and the overwhelmed parents at their mercy. Now I don’t want to add to anyone’s stress, but this uproarious production is closing very soon so hurry, hurry to the Cambridge Theatre. Two hours of laughter is indeed the best medicine for whatever ails you.
The stellar script follows the parents (the deft Stacy Fischer and Nael Nacer) from pillar to post in search of a cure for their hyperactive nine year old (the precocious Alec Shiman). The surprise in Loomer’s satire is that the info we learn about ADD is right on the money. DISTRACTED is a delicious spoonful of sugar that gets the facts to go down, painlessly yet. Wesley Savick directs with his funnybone, making the jokes even funnier. Case in point is Steven Barkhimer’s meltdown, waving his script about, necessitating a visit from an unhappy stage manager (Dominique D. Burford?) to pull him off stage.
The incomparable cast features the wonderful Michelle Dowd as an exasperated teacher, an ADD expert, a kindly nurse and a fed up UPS deliveryman, hurling an enormous package in disgust. Debra Wise nearly steals a scene from Barkhimer (not an easy thing to accomplish) as a disinterested waitress who can’t take her eyes off the women’s curling match on the restaurant big screen. Screens are everywhere in DISTRACTED, with Sara Brown and Bozkurt Karazu’s videos reaping comic gold all by themselves.
Everyone, from Kerry A. Dowling’s clueless, nosey neighbor to April Pressel’s quintessential obsessive compulsive to Katie Elinoff’s inappropriate baby sitter, make DISTRACTED a hilarious antidote for our everpresent electronic enslavement.