"The Commons of Pensacola," film actress Amanda Peet's debut as a playwright, also marks Sarah Jessica Parker's first performance on the New York stage since the end of "Sex and the City" about a decade ago.
Parker plays Becca, a middle-aged actress whose father is a Bernie Madoff-like financier recently caught by the authorities, leaving him in jail and her mother Judith (Blythe Danner) in a second-rate Florida condo and apparently penniless.
Becca, who arrives to visit her mother with her much younger boyfriend (Michael Stahl-David) and potty-mouthed teenage niece (Zoe Levin), is currently homeless and lacks direction in life.
After a slow and unpromising start, the 80-minute family drama eventually develops in terms of plot, with the boyfriend revealing his desire to make a documentary film about Judith, and Becca learning that Judith has plenty of money secretly stashed away. A handful of attempts to add comedy fail to land and the play's resolution is weak.
Parker offers a superficial performance that closely mirrors her vocal and physical mannerisms from "Sex and the City." On the other hand, Danner displays a richer, more complex characterization as Judith. Nilaja Sun, who is best known as a solo performer, makes the most of her role as Judith's caretaker.