LOS ANGELES - Day Trader is sort of Sunset Blvd. meets Body Heat meets Wall Street, a modern morality play that will keep audiences on the edges of their seats as they try to figure out what's going on and what will happen next. Broadway actor Danton Stone heads this stellar four-actor cast as 49-year-old father Ron Barlow. Brighid Fleming plays his daughter, 15-year-old Juliana Barlow. Fourteen-year-old Brighid Fleming is a rising star whom ticket buyers and casting directors should keep their eyes on. She has been seen in local theater, and is currently on the big screen in Jason Reitman's Labor Day with Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, and Tobey Maguire.
Within the Wall Street world, a day trader is a speculator or investor who buys and sells financial instruments on the foreign exchange and stock markets within the same trading day. Throughout the play Ron listens to a 25-session self-help tape that explains how to conduct this form of profit-seeking, which is done largely in solitude via phone, iPad, computer, tablet, etc. With his play's get-rich-quick scheme within a scam, Rudnick's Day Trader can be interpreted as a parable and critique of capitalism.
The drama's title can also have multiple meanings, as "trader" sounds like "traitor." Ron's betrayal of Juliana reminded this writer of one of literature's most heartrending acts of treachery. At the end of George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece 1984, after his failed rebellion against the omniscient totalitarian state, the imprisoned Winston Smith is taken to "Room 101" to be tortured. There, threatened with hungry rats eager to eat his face, Winston literally rats out his co-conspirator and lover. Desperate and terrified, the broken Winston shouts: "Do it to Julia!"
Except in Rudnick's alternately hair-raising and hilarious roller coaster ride Day Trader, instead of Big Brother watching him, Ron Barlow had better watch out for Brighid Fleming's "Little Daughter!"