WE DON'T ALWAYS feel about our family the way we think we should feel about our family—that idea comes through loud and clear in the opening scenes of Hand2Mouth Theatre's new Everyone Who Looks Like You. The young company has steeled themselves to tell the unvarnished truth, and in the show's best moments, they do. "I don't think I can take care of you when I'm old," one actor confesses. "Sometimes I describe you as 'simple,'" says another.
Everyone is a freefall through childhood memories and adult perceptions, a collage of movement, sound, and sentiment that explores the dimensions of family life. Cereal is eaten every morning, and so routine becomes ritual; ugly sweaters are worn just because Mom made them.
Hand2Mouth also recognizes that their company functions like a family, and their willingness to turn a critical eye on their own relationships make for some of the show's most surprising moments. But for all the clarity, recognition, and humor the show offers, there's a fair amount of noisy, grating chaos as well. Some of the jokes are just too easy—as mortifying as getting the "sex talk" from your parents might be, it's a pretty unoriginal setup. There's a through-line of immaturity, too, of over-identification with childish modes (simple melodies are sweetly sung; tantrums are thrown); by the end of the just-too-long show, Everyone's backward focus feels both cloying and claustrophobic.