I only caught one production on the weekend…
As the “Halloween Madness” at Hubba Hubba! has erupted with a vengeance. A “Star Studded” audience filled the theatre on opening night at The Zephyr… which always makes for fun people watching!
A wild n’ whacky family comedy, ambitiously written by Ellen Melaver, and playfully directed by Lee Sankowich, you will likely “relate” in various ways, to the family dynamics that unfold here. When adult children return to the family home where they were raised… we all know things can get complicated. Such is the case here! Capably performed by a quartet of worthy actors, there’s a lot of “food for thought,” and plenty of fun to be had. Siblings, Cece and Raymond have come back to their Southern Jewish home, to throw their parents a huge 35th anniversary party. Although well intended… there are “issues” from the moment they arrive. Cece has organized hors d’oeuvres (unappetizingly healthy) and Raymond confronts one problem after another with the massive guest list. On top of all that, each family member reveals major life choices and changes, which play Hell with the celebration! As Cece, the conflicted med-student, searching for fulfillment, Sarah Sankowich is humorously heartfelt. Elijah Kranski… a stand out, gives a multi-layered performance, as the son who has a controversial and most unusual anniversary gift for his volatile parents. I’m being intentionally vague, so I don’t reveal too much of the comedically complex chain of events. Cookie, the quirky mother, has taken a job, and Marvin, the unkempt, pill popping father, does not approve. Obsessed with his beloved fishing pole and refusing to attend the party… many secrets fly out of the “family closet.” As Cookie, Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner, Karen Black stars, and gives a fragile and frantically funny performance. As Marvin, her insensitive and unkempt husband, David Proval (from The Sopranos) gives a marvelously “macho-male” depiction. A top notch technical team sets the tone perfectly. Gorgeous set (Adam Haas Hunter), Costume Design (Joanna Leskow), Lighting (Matt Richter), and Sound (Norman Kern). For hearty laughs and a bit of retrospection on your own family dynamics… Do spend an evening with the Green family. Running through Dec. 4 at The Zephyr Theatre located at 7456 Melrose Ave. in Hollywood. For seats, call (800) 838-3006 or go to www.brownpapertickets.com/event/202027.
Mark Your Calendar
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea – Opening at Crown City Theatre in NoHo Oct. 21
John Patrick Shanley’s darkly compelling two character play, billed here as “a brutally sweet love story,” is a hard hitting, “slice of life” drama! It is the story of two down n’ out strangers (Danny and Roberta) who meet in a dive bar in the Bronx. He, emotionally unstable, and she, self loathing, spend the night together. Humorous, vulgar, and violent… As the story evolves, a fascinating relationship plays out between two lost souls. For early booking, call (818) 605-5685.
Harbor – World Premiere Written by John Cellini
The story of Jules, a young mother, who must deal with the arrival of her ex-husband, after the death of her father. Promising a combination of laughs, emotional introspection, and an upheaval of the entire family… a cast of seven will take us there. For early booking, call (818) 841-4404.
See you next time. Until then, I can be found buried in a pile of Halloween costumes at my store… trying to cope with the mania!