Philadelphia playwright Bruce Graham isn’t a household name (he doesn’t even appear to have a Wikipedia page) but his bright and charming plays have pleased audiences in theaters around the country.
Island Players in Anna Maria is staging one of Graham’s most popular works, “Moon Over the Brewery,” beginning Thursday and running though Jan. 29.
The four-person play has been described as a romantic comedy, a comedy-drama and a coming-of-age story by various sources.
It revolves around Miriam, who’s unmarried and living in a dreary Pennsylvania coal town with her 13-year-old daughter, Amanda. Miriam’s a waitress and a wannabe artist. She’d love to have a male companion, but precocious Amanda, who has an IQ of 160, drives away all her mom’s suitors with barbed comments. Amanda has created an imaginary friend named Randolph, who appears (only to her) in a resplendent white suit and provides questionable advice and guidance.
Warren Zimmerman, a mailman and potential boyfriend for Miriam, comes into their lives. He doesn’t seem like much but he beats Amanda at her own psychological game and weans Amanda away from Randolph.
Reviews from previous production in other cities have been warm. A Philadelphia paper called its original production “a tender, fragile account of a teenage girl’s break with childhood.”
Kelly Wynn Woodland directs a cast that includes her husband, Mark Woodland, plus Judy Glynn, Maryann Bryam and Eli Gilbert.
Details: Jan. 12-29, Island Players, 10009 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $20. 941-778-5755, www.theislandplayers.org.