By Bonnie Priever
“Heroes” centers on three ‘not-so grumpy old men’ of sorts, Gustave (Larry Eisenberg), Henri (Klair Bybee) and Phillippe (Lloyd Pederson), now in a veterans’ retirement home, contemplating their lives: past, present and future.
No strangers to the Group Repertory Theatre, these veteran actors brilliantly rose to the challenge, performing the gamut of serious, dramatic monologues to slapstick physical humor. Some particularly memorable scenes include the three leads interacting with an inanimate, stone statue of a dog, as if he were real! Another scene depicts the trio flapping their arms, while watching a gander of geese fly by, as their imaginations soar as well.
Based on the winning writing of playwright Tom Stoppard and adapted from Gerard Sibleyras’ original, “Heroes” is a moving, poignant look at growing older, in both a light and serious way.
Each night promises to have the audience in stitches throughout most of the show, alternating with quite dramatic moments of almost utter silence. This contrast is striking, and a true credit to all involved in the production, from writer, director to cast and crew. One priceless precious line, so relevant to today’s times, was shared by all three actors: “Memories grow dim but time stands still, as the wind flows and the poplars blow.”
“Heroes” captures the ess-ence of growing old gracefully, with humor, sarcasm and ultimately joie de vivre.
“Heroes” plays at the Group Repertory at the Lonny Chapman Theatre (10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, CA) Saturday, 9-27 thru Saturday, 11-07. For more information, call (818) 700-4878 or visit www.thegrouprep.com.