World premiere ‘Friends with Guns’ is provocative and compelling theatre in NoHo through May 5

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Timely and thought provoking, the world premiere presentation of Stephanie Alison Walker’s Friends with Guns offers passionate arguments for and against gun ownership and what empowers women. Powerful acting and muscular writing provide a night of meaty entertainment.

Frazzled couple Shannon (Kate Huffman) and Josh (Brian Graves) are forced to confront their assumptions about who should own guns and why when they discover potential new friends Leah (Arianna Ortiz) and Danny (Christian Telesmar) possess a locked closet full of weapons. What happens when beliefs and values flip-flop and women take control?

Huffman’s overanxious Shannon zips from hypersensitive to overpowering in the blink of an eye, while Graves’ goofy Josh fights desperation as his marriage and control drain away. Ortiz offers a steadying calm around which the tornado of emotions fly while Telesmar’s charming Danny has little to do.

Director Randee Trabitz slowly builds the drama to a fever pitch, keeping things lively and on edge though the emotional story and struggling characters often seem to flip on a dime.

Friends with Guns provides a provocative and compelling evening at the theatre.

The Road Theatre Company presents “Friends with Guns” Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm through May 5 at the Road on Magnolia located at 10747 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood. Tickets cost $34, $15 for seniors and students, with Sunday performances pay-what-you-can. For tickets call (818) 761-8838 or visit roadtheatre.org.

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