Plume, Jan 25 2011, $15.00
On the San Juan Island in Puget Sound, single mom Jenny Alexander raises her two daughters, seventeen years old Lilly and thirteen years old Frankie. Jenny left her physically abusive husband Monroe while still nursing her youngest. She does need a man permanently in her life; though local carpenter David would like her to reconsider, as Monroe’s beatings still linger in her mind.
Every year the Islanders host a summer theater festival. This year The Tempest is the main event with a cast of professional actors from New York, Los Angeles and Ashland, Oregon. Jenny and Lilly are attracted to Andre the New York actor. Frankie has her own issues, but is tired of the family version of the Tempest. She runs off to Seattle, which turns the Alexander raging storm into a monster.
With super interwoven nods to the Bard, Juno’s Daughters is an excellent family drama that explores some of the themes of the classic play in a modern context. For instance, the relationships between mom and daughters are brilliantly scrutinized with each holding certain power over the other, but Jenny as the adult rules. The cast makes the tale as the Alexander family star in a terrific contemporary as a “tempest in a teapot” is brewing.