‘For Better, For Worse’ Dishes on Relationships

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Laugh out loud funny, thoughtful, and extremely well acted, Reed Arnold’s original play, For Better, For Worse considers relationships in all their permutations and what it means to grow up and get serious about life after graduating from college.

Best man Mark (Arnold) attempts to get tense groom Ryan (Travis Laughlin) relaxed on his wedding day, when unrequited college love Rose (Kelly Russo) walks in. When is the right time to tell someone you love them, and will it matter in the end?

Arnold’s somewhat raunchy but thoughtful play features excellent writing and witty ripostes as it looks honestly at love and relationships between three college friends. It blends physical comedy, confessional, and thrown down dialogue.

Director Wolfgang Bodison keeps tension levels high with constant motion and rapid-fire delivery of well-aimed punchlines, building a nice rhythm and flow to proceedings, almost cinematic in its look and feel.

The cast deftly inhabit their roles, exhibiting great chemistry, timing, and reactions, as three friends would. Arnold’s Mark is an arrogant but hilarious man boy, a charming player whose grin masks insecurity. Laughlin’s uptight, sensitive, and vulnerable Ryan carries his feelings on his sleeve, with emotions flitting over his face. A trifle manipulative and selfish, pretty gatecrasher Rose flirts to get what she wants.

For Better, For Worse examines timing and frisson in romantic relationships, and what it means to balance romance and friendship, combining excellent acting, intelligent dialogue, and entertaining story.

For Better, For Worse plays Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm, and Sundays at 7pm through April 4th at the Playhouse West Theatre, 10634 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood. Tickets are free. Visit www.forbetterforworseplay.com to make reservations or obtain further information.

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