Amy Herzog’s 2011 play 4000 Miles opened last week and runs through March 9 at the Cincinnati Playhouse. In Herzog’s dramedy, a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, Leo doesn’t know his feisty grandmother Vera very well. She’s 91; he’s 21 and hasn’t seen her in 10 years. She has spent her life in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village as an outspoken political rabble-rouser, committed to radical leftist causes and suspicious of people in authority.
Leo calls himself a “hippie”; his life with his family in eco-friendly St
. Paul, Minn., and friends in Seattle has been worlds apart from Vera’s urban surroundings. (In fact, he has bicycled to Manhattan — the 4,000 miles of the play’s title.) But they have considerable common ground. Playhouse artistic director Blake Robison, who staged the production, confesses, “I didn’t know my grandmothers very well — just the odd Christmas visit or special occasion. I expect there’s much I can learn from the characters of Leo and Vera.”
In today’s fragmented world, such connections are not so common. 4000 Miles is a great reminder of the power of family.
Through March 9. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams, cincyplay.com.