The first admonition: Come Early. You'll want to spend some quality time with the exquisite set Shannon Roberts has designed for Warehouse Theatre's latest production. It's a Bronx apartment in all its (cramped) glory--an elderly woman's abode, brimming with all the sentimental bits you loved at grandma's house. It's the first set that's tempted me to leave my seat and poke around its nooks and crannies. So take some time, and let your eyes do the exploring. Once Sada begins, you aren't going to be paying attention to it at all.
The second (and final) admonition: Stay Awhile. Bruce Levy's Sada is like your grandmother; it rambles a good bit. It makes a few illogical leaps of the mind (most notably one minor character's instant transformation from bull-headed to push-over, or whispy bits of farce sticking out at odd angles). But, Stay Awhile. Or, as Sada would say: Sit! Eat! Drink! This is a visit worth sticking out.
Shirley Sarlin headlines as Sada herself: an elderly Jewish lady who takes a shine to the young Hispanic man who's come to rob her. Sarlin delivers a sometimes feisty and always lovable performance as the granny who is nobody's victim--not the robber's, not the cops', and certainly not her son's--an old lady who just might turn out to be everybody's saint.
Chris Hecke (Angel), Jared Johnson (Officer Blum), and Peyton Hray (Officer Morelli) form an admirable lot of hooligans in need of saving, but Rick Connor's Ira is by far the comic steal of the show. It's no secret that Ira has heart troubles. Sada tells you this at the very beginning. But when Connor appears, the already funny play takes a turn for the hilarious--and the truly moving. Like any good grandmother, Sada has heat-changing lessons for everyone. But most especially you. And most especially herself.
Come early. Stay awhile. Sada wouldn't let you leave anyway. But what does that matter, when you've already fallen in love with her?
Bruce Levy's "Sada,” directed by Paul Savas.
Presented by The Warehouse Theatre, 37 Augusta St., Greenville (864) 235-6948. Through April 10. Tickets $25. Students $15.