I regret that my theatrical rantings, reviewing local live theatre offerings around town have been fewer lately than in the past

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For that, I apologize. Dealing with health issues…Fibromyalgia has kept me closer to home than in my wacky younger and healthier years. Although this condition strikes millions of people each year (mostly women), the medication and treatment for relief is sadly minimal. Any “witch doctor” solutions you may be aware of are heartily welcome!

I did catch a compelling production on the weekend to tell you about. Presented at The Road Theatre…one of the most consistently commendable local theatre troupes in L.A – this one is MINDBENDINGLY POWERFUL!

‘Red Speedo’

Written with TRUE TO LIFE GRIT by Lucas Hnath and directed with HEARTFELT PASSION by Joe Banno (with assistance by Susie Lever), this play takes us into the world of Olympic swimming, on a minimal but HIGHLY EFFECTIVE and ATTRACTIVE set designed by Stephen Gifford…we look at the underbelly of competitive sports.

Ray (a DYNAMIC Adam Peltier), once an aimless drug using loser, is now hoping to qualify as an Olympic swimmer. If he makes the team he earns a deal with Speedo and will never be a victim of life’s financial rat race again. When someone’s stash of performance enhancing is found hidden away, the entire team’s fate is at risk. Ray has to prove himself innocent or risk all of the acclaim and respect he has acquired up till now.

Ray’s brother, Peter (a SOLID and EXPLOSIVE Coronado Romero), tries to keep the drug issue away from the Olympic officials, to avoid their suspicions and protect his brother’s future. Jason E. Kelley gives a POWERFULLY RIVETING performance as Ray’s coach and manager, and in a brief appearance as Ray’s ex-girlfriend, Kimberly Alexander gives a PASSIONATE portrayal, proving the old adage “there’s no such thing as a small part.”

Kudos to the entire design team in setting the tone for our total involvement! Lighting by Derrick McDaniel, costumes by Mary Jane Miller, sound by Chris Moscatiello, props by Tally McCormack, fight direction by Bjorn Johnson and tattoo body art by Chris Trovador.

This theatre, on our local scene for many years, just never disappoints! Blessed with great vision, a company of wonderful actors and behind the scenes visionaries, I have never been disappointed when the lights go down for a performance at The Road Theatre. You must get to know them!

“Red Speedo” plays through Sunday, July 1 at The Road on Magnolia located at 10747 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood. For tickets visit RoadTheatre.org or call (818) 761-8838.

In addition to writing about theatre for The Tolucan Times, Pat Taylor owns Hubba Hubba! vintage clothing store in Burbank.

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Nite Lights Theatre reviews by Pat Taylor

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