Canada’s master playwright applies his trademark black humour and incredibly crisp dialogue to the family and multiculturalism.
We the Family follows the ripple effects within two culturally and racially divergent families when their children wed. The list of characters in We the Family reads like an ethnic joke, which, indeed, it is, at least in part: the son of the main characters, David and Lizzie Kaplan, a Jewish–Irish-Catholic mixed marriage, marries the daughter of Jenny Lee, a Chinese-Canadian widow. The supporting cast includes a Russian, a Palestinian, and an Italian, with Pakistanis, Sicilians, and still more Russians offstage in the wings.
By the end of the play, Walker has deconstructed the dysfunctional Kaplan and Lee families and family love as well. Through the play’s pervading treachery, with family members and lovers betraying each other in horrific ways, he satirizes the hypocrisy of expounding family values while behaving with vicious preoccupation. These hyphenated Canadians certainly aren’t “nice,” and no quantity of “sweet-and-sour matzah balls” (which the Kaplan matriarch serves at the multicultural wedding reception) can hide the nasty taste.
Cast of 3 men and 7 women.