“Play with a Knife” Considers Choices
A thoughtful though occasionally heavy-handed examination of the meaning of life, “Play with a Knife” features fine acting and production work as it presents an unraveling event in a greasy diner.
Confronting each other at an abandoned diner in a strange netherworld, questioning Marxist and murderer Evan (Zach Fehst) and workaholic businessman and victim Michael (Dedalus Hyde) discuss the meaning of existence and the choices we make in how to live.
Director Heather Demetrios creates strong set-ups to enhance the actors’ confrontations with each other and the text as she keeps the action constantly moving. She also draws fine performances from the cast. Fehst brings a wounded vulnerability to his angry, searching young man. Hyde displays a cocky swagger and sarcastic attitude as the self-satisfied businessman Michael. John C. McLaughlin’s crusty old man is thankful for each day and each plate of good, solid diner food.
Production work is first rate, from the realistic diner set to the Edward Hopper-like dark, moody lighting. While a little long and talky, “Play with a Knife” artfully considers what life means and the choices we each possess in how to use it.
“Play with a Knife” runs Saturday and Sunday nights at 8pm through May 31 at Theater Yawp, Stages Theater Center (1540 N. McCadden Pl., Hollywood, CA). Tickets cost $10-$30 (pay what you can). Valet parking is available. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.plays411.com/knife or call (323) 636-9661.