‘Welcome to Heretofore’ comedically explores duty and obligation

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The bonds that bind us are invisible yet penetrate deep within our psyche. It may be an obligation, that of a sense of duty, or it may be devotion, an unselfish, charitable act, or it may stem from a loss of identity—that serving another brings resolution, and if fortunate, redemption.

Welcome to Heretofore infuses the elements of obligation into a tidy parable that is set in the old west, in the cusp of the ways of the wild old and the new industrial machinist force.

We are introduced to Sno (Doug Haverty) and Mr. Barker (Steve Nevil) who are the only residents of Heretofore, not even considered a watering hole. Mr. Barker is blind and relies on Sno for basic needs. Sno relies on Mr. Barker to give him a sense of purpose until Fix (well cast Leslie Caveny) arrives. She is the great inspiration that Sno always wanted but never realized or even knew existed.

Her desire for him is to the point—Sno now has a choice of a better life, but he must leave the old one behind. And that is the crux, the central conflict of the show: Do we so readily abandon an established relationship to one who depends on our aid, or commit to a new one without promise or guarantee? A bond to someone is a particular and delicate.

Writer Steve Nevil offers the paradox of choice in a crafty, innovative way. The script is succinct and vibrant. Elayne Heilveil utilizes a creative set and a willing cast that creates laughs and pathos.

Recommended.

“Welcome to Heretofore” plays through Friday, June 23rd at Hudson Guild Theatre located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Visit HudsonTheatre.com for tickets and information.

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