I only caught one play on the weekend

Frantically struggling with my tax preparations (like many of you … I’m sure) my mind is boggled!

Lights Off, Eyes Closed 

From l, Joanna Kalafatis and Mary Burkin in “Lights Off, Eyes Closed.”

Written with other worldly, fun loving charm by Liz Shannon Miller, this is a unique and light heartedly thought provoking script. Proudly presented by SKY PILOT Theatre, they always offer original, controversially “off beat” world premiere productions. Playfully directed by Meredith Berg, the capable cast of six gives ambitious and multi-faceted performances. As the story unfolds, “twenty something” Jane has recently lost her mother, a successful romance novelist. Although she never really understood her mother, or related to her best selling stories of “undying love,” she is now in a unique position. Mom has “willed” her to finish writing the outline of her last romantic Regency Era novel, hoping this will help her find the key to the joy of romance in her own life, as a result. With the novel’s “overly passionate” story book characters’ repeated “larger than life” appearances, as mom looks on from afar (very funny), Jane attempts to finish the book honoring her mother’s dying wish. Quite sweet … and often hilarious, we are privy to Jane’s life, and romantic issues along the way. Mary Burkin is eerily down to earth as the wise and caring mother, and Joanna Kalafatis is delightfully quirky as the sexually inexperienced daughter. JR Esposito is charmingly loveable as Jane’s suitor, and “Executor of sorts” to mom’s will. Chera Holland in a smaller role, was sassy and solid, as mom’s critical book publisher. Playing two roles each, Jason Kobielus and Samantha Carro, both turned in excellent portrayals. He, as a playboy bartender, and She, as Jane’s best friend … also riotously play the “hero” and “heroine” in the romance novel’s recurring character depictions. A cute, “over the top” play … and a lot of fun! Creative kudos to Kareem Cervantes for his costume choices! My only criticism: Darting off and on the stage … the cast members were responsible for all of the sparse set changes. Tho’ they handled the task efficiently, I found this distracting and “mood breaking.” It is always much more effective to have other company members, not in the production, doing the schlepping! Other than that … we had a good time! Running through April 29 at T.U. Studios located at 10943 Camarillo St. in North Hollywood. For seats, call (800) 838-3006 or go to www.skypilottheatre.com.

Next week I’ll tell you all about a new play opening at The Whitefire Theatre.

Slow Dance in Midtown – Written and Directed by Elizabeth Sarnoff

A noted and busy writer, she has written scripts on such TV hit shows as: Lost, Deadwood, Alcatraz, and NYPD Blue. Impressive! Set in an empty New York City bar, four brassy and troubled people with intertwined issues hash over their differences. Fate, friendship, and family secrets come into play…. For early booking, visit www.brownpapertickets.com or call (818) 990-2324.

LA Weekly Theater Awards 

Had a fabulous time at the 33rd annual LA Weekly Awards bash, at the Avalon Theatre! Toga attire “optional,” the jam packed affair was as artistically rewarding as it was outrageous! Congrats to all the winners and nominees….

More to come next week as always….


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