Ripcord : Respect These Elders

Ripcord is rife with refreshing contradictions. Most notably, it's a comedy set in an assisted-living facility. That might not sound like the recipe for success, but leave it to Marylouise Burke and Holland Taylor to run absolutely wild with such a healthy and limber David Lindsay-Abaire screenplay.

They play the cheerful Marilyn and nasty Abby, an odd couple that have been paired up to live together. Abby doesn't take well to her new roommate, but Marilyn decides, whether from spite or genuine intrigue, to stick around and see what happens. David Hyde Pierce directs the show to perfection, injecting plenty of spots for levity, particularly in the play's first act, yet also moments of meaning throughout.

Marilyn's daughter (Rachel Dratch) and son-in-law (Daoud Heidami) add another layer of competition and provide backstory for their elder. The audience gains more from seeing the trio interact than from the dialogue outlining what we need to know, but it all comes from a caring place and with good intentions.

Ripcord's strengths lie in its commitment to modern technology and trends and contemporary references. Everything feels immediate and relevant, the way revivals sometimes can feel a bit odd or strained. It's a nice changeup to hear about Google and to see an Ipad, neither of which are mentioned or placed in there gratuitously. Everything is there for a purpose, and it's all familiar. That two septuagenarians are the ones most of the time delivering the news or the punchlines breathes new life into their character's situations, and at once into the theater as well.