I Got Troubles, the world premiere production of Art Shulman’s play, combines humor and thoughtful writing in a story full of heart and fine acting. It reveals the power of listening, demonstrating empathy and truly connecting.
The play focuses on one night at Angie’s (Amanda Donelan) coffeehouse, where people come to unwind from their troubles and recite poetry. Some seek romantic partners, others advisors, and some seek friends. Will they each find solutions to their problems?
While a trifle long and episodic, Shulman’s play highlights the humanity and commonalities we all share as we seek compassion and understanding. He writes astute monologues as well as funny asides on Jewish life, acting and dating. The poems he creates help define each character.
Excellent acting brings the story alive. Kevin McKim’s understated Willy and Ellen Bienenfeld’s charming Eileen add natural compassion, while Jody Bardin contributes humorous kvetching as the Jewish flight controller. Lareen Faye brings fire as the passionate Bessie. Donelan serves as a steady center for the production.
Atmospheric lighting and fine production design enhance the eclectic feel of the coffee shop with its colorful paintings, attractive light fixtures and mix and match furniture.
I Got Troubles successfully mixes together humorous situations and serious moments in a story of finding compassion and connecting with others.
“I Got Troubles” plays Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm through Sunday, August 5 at Crown City Theatre located at 11031 Camarillo St. in North Hollywood. Tickets are $24; $18 for seniors; $10 for students and $16 for groups of 10 or more. Visit IGotTroubles.net or call (818) 285-8699.