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'Well': A 'Solo Show' Where Company Drops In

"I can't believe I’m getting beaten up in my own play!! This is unfair! Help me!"

Lisa Kron gets pushed around in Well, a show she wrote and stars in. She also suffers repeated interruptions from her mother, and faces a revolt by the actors onstage.

In Kron's case, however, bullying and parental interference are signs the performance is going as planned. Well comes together even as it seems to fall apart.

The play ties together two aspects of Kron's background: her mother's work to racially integrate their neighborhood in Lansing, Mich., and being part of a family "where everyone is ill." Actress Jayne Houdyshell plays Kron's mother, and four other actors join her as both characters and critics of Kron's quasi-solo show.

Well debuted at Manhattan's Public Theater in 2004, drawing sell-out crowds and accolades. It debuted on Broadway at the Longacre Theater this past week.

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Jeff Lunden is a freelance arts reporter and producer whose stories have been heard on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, as well as on other public radio programs.