Strangemen Theatre Company’s Bernie and Mikey’s Trip to the Moon might just end up one of your favorite pieces of theater in 2018. This new play feels like one of those sadder episodes of Roseanne (the good memories you have of that show, at least, before, well….you know) especially in that it explores a working class family in the Chicago suburbs in the 90s.

Bernie and Mikey, however, is centered around the coming-of-age moment when a loving older brother has to reckon with the fact that his mentally handicapped younger sister is becoming an adult. Actor-turned-playwright Scott Aiello’s first full-length play is a total triumph: hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time, crescendoes with drama that leaves you on the edge of your seat, and filled with plenty of raw and gritty characters that you wish were your best friends.

Photos: Michael Kushner

Playing that loving older brother is the extraordinarily appealing Juilliard graduate Forrest Malloy in an A+ performance that will haunt you for a long time. The acting chops on this dude are truly something to behold. You should also look very forward to meeting this play’s Jeff Goldblum (don’t worry, that’ll make sense when you see it) in a performance by the hilarious and adorable scene stealer Benjamin Rosloff.

Bonus: Director Claire Karpen lovingly weaves in oldies music to this play, making it feel almost cinematic…and very accessible to new theater audiences.

Bernie and Mikey’s Trip to the Moon is a special piece of theater.

Runs through December 2.