Enter the world of 59E59 Theaters' On a Stool at the End of the Bar: You're a man married to the woman of your dreams. You've been married for nearly a decade, and your kids from a previous marriage adore her. Suddenly you get a knock on the door from a stranger who turns out to be your wife's brother. In your conversation with this man, he unleashes a hidden truth that destroys your world as you knew it. Can you overlook this unexpected development for the love of the woman you married?
In an attempt to answer this question, I tried to put myself in the position of each character in the play, and I quickly became conflicted. With most plays I see, I usually pick sides and root for a particular character from the get-go. But with On a Stool at the End of the Bar, while I could understand the situation from both sides, it was far from black and white; there was no single victim in this story. Chris decided not to be upfront with her family about a painful part of her past, knowing that this information was something they deserved to be made aware of. Was her choice a selfish one? Yes. But she made it to give herself a shot at a normal, happy life, one she likely wouldn't have had if she were totally honest. Tony and the kids were understandably taken aback by the shocking news, so much so they had a lot of trouble accepting Chris as they had previously. If I were in Chris' situation, I would hope that my husband would love me unconditionally no matter what I felt I had to keep from him. On the other hand, Tony had every right to fully know the person he was marrying before he married her. Nobody was entirely blameless.
The consequences of dishonesty can be severe. Lies, even those maintained with the best of intentions, have this way of coming out and hurting people. And the longer a lie is kept, the worse it is for everyone involved when the truth is finally revealed. Now, that's the logical way of looking at things, but some secrets are so devastatingly intimate that you almost can't blame a person for wanting to keep those matters private. But where family is concerned, it all comes down to trust. And trust is earned. When a trust is betrayed, it can make you re-evaluate what you initially knew to be true, and that can extend to the love you have for a person, even one you've known for a long time. When you are responsible for a betrayal of that nature, you have to face the results of your actions.