Winner! Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Script
is a 90-minute play about a film critic who finds himself caught up in a Culture Clash of economics, sex and long-submerged resentment when he returns to the small Ohio town where he grew up. Trying to make peace with his past, he reconnects with some former classmates, a bully and a girl he had a crush on. The encounters are unsettling for all three; nothing turns out as expected.
It's 1998 and the economic troubles that will later engulf the rest of the country are offering a preview of coming attractions in Ohio. The plant that has been the economic heart of a downstate town is closed by a decision from Wall Street. Oliver, a movie critic on a TV show, returns for a high school reunion unaware that his current identifi cation as a Jewish New Yorker can't help but trigger a reaction. An invitation from Ted, the bully who used to plague him, and the addition of Ted's unstable wife Lianne and the provocative Iris bring things to a boil in a play that is by turns funny and wrenching.
When it opened at the Tony® Award-winning Victory Gardens Theatre – in a production starring Chicago acting legends Amy Morton and William Petersen under the direction of Dennis Zacek – Flyovers broke house records and took home the "Jeff" Award for new script. It won new admirers in New York in a limited-run production starring Richard Kind and Michele Pawk under the direction of Sandy Shinner.
"Startling explosions and bursts of heart breaking insight. Beautifully mixes laughs and lessons. While funny, it's also a faithful tone poem on its characters, who end up dissected, desperate, and, in Sweet's strange, deftly managed plot twists, strained in a dreary, Flannery O'Connor like neverland of an ending. –Chicago Tribune
"The plot outline suggests the possibility of a predictable and pedestrian piece of theater, redolent of easy sentiment. Not so. Mr. Sweet's ear is almost the equal of David Mamet's, and he's funnier. But Mr. Sweet, in this world premiere production, digs as deeply into his three main characters as Arthur Miller at his best. Mr. Sweet plays on their universality but bestows on them considerable soul, which he reveals with some lyricism. ...Balancing abundant laughs with painfully exposed nerve endings." –Wall Street Journal
"The story cleverly employs that worn but crowd-pleasing theme of the worm that turns, assisted by an oft-tried device, characters well-oiled with alcohol. While Sweet is not above melodramatic flourishes, he demonstrates his dexterity in twisting these into a nimble finale that includes a most unlikely romance."" -Backstage