An elderly grandmother and slacker grandson who suddenly move in together sounds like the plot of a terrible sitcom. But cross-generational relationships, when told with the right balance of humor and emotion, have a way of resonating with audiences. Amy Herzog’s 4,000 Miles, now playing at Studio Theatre, examines this connection between family members and brings it up to date for the millennial generation. Leo, a twenty-something hippie and professional lost soul, has ridden his bike from Seattle to New York and appears at the doorstep of his 91-year-old Marxist granny, Vera, on the verge of a life crisis. Over the course of their time together, all the typical tropes appear (Vera walks in on Leo with a girl! The elderly don’t hear well!), but Herzog pushes the play further by examining the bonds that exist between the two and questioning whether similar experiences can cause these two vastly different spirits to finally find common ground. At the very least, you’ll leave wanting to call your grandma.
The play runs March 20 to April 28 at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. (202) 332-3300. studiotheatre.org.