Fun and Fresh Splitting Issues Stages at the Raven Playhouse
The Vagabond Players are currently staging Splitting Issues (And Other Noteworthy Concerns) by Sam Bobrick. The production consists of several short plays all linked in a way, as actors Ken Bernfield, Cindy Dellinger, Juan Figueroa, Neita Lawrence, Linda Mayer, Josh Polizzi and Michael James Thompson glide through several different roles, demonstrating their versatile skills.
The scenes vary from comedic to poignant and include: a couple inviting another couple to their breakup to choose sides; two singles meet at a dance for professional singles; a man offers to give his wife back to her ex; two couples realize they married the wrong person; a couple finds name calling to be an effective way to clear the air — and more. My favorite piece was “May I Recommend the Crow” featuring Cindy Dellinger and Michael James Thompson as a divorced couple. The wife shows up at the restaurant her ex is working at and he needs to serve her. He has already served her well, as she has wiped him out in the divorce — hence the extra job as a waiter.
Bobrick’s writing is observant, fresh and funny; the performers exude strong energy and, under the guidance of director Sherry Coon, keep the pace moving and the laughs coming in this mix of comedy and drama. This is the type of show where there is something for everyone. Behind the scenes: Light and Sound — Robert Orentlicher and Christine Grisanti; Lighting Design — Peter Strauss; Set Design — Sherry Coon; Producers — Michael James Thompson and Catherine Michaels.
The Raven Playhouse is located at 5233 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood (just north of Magnolia). Splitting Issues runs on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. until July 16. Tickets cost $20 for students; there are also seniors and group discounts. For reservations, call (818) 206-4000. Street and city parking is nearby.