Waiting for Lefty, at the Stella Adler Theatre, proves that the power of a single voice can ignite thousands to follow, regardless of circumstance. It is placed in New York City, 1935. Although not quite at the brink of war, it was a time of tremendous social upheaval, bordering on revolution. It is a cast of the everyman, whose blood oiled the machine of industry. The performance reminds us that we, the people, can stand for what is right, that we have power in cohesion.
This show is a one-act, compiled of scenes that depicted the effects of a cab driver’s strike. These scenes showed how the character’s lives were being crushed into oblivion. Written as a protest, Clifford Odets’ script still captures the raging voice that still asserts the pain and frustration as it did 74 years ago. The actor’s performance holds true to the authenticity of the period, from costume to mannerisms, as this is a top-notch production.
Director Jim Parrack infused a sense of involvement with the audience as the actors were staged throughout the theatre. It was a feeling of interconnection, of true bonding with the characters. Although all the performances were excellent, Jamie Allman as Edna was spectacular, Mario DeGasperi as Fatt imbued an emotion that is seldom felt and Jim Parrack as Agate Keller gave a rousing speech that made one want to follow him and his cause to the end. Imagine this as an urban The Grapes of Wrath. The voice of the common man is the voice of us all. A must see.
“Waiting for Lefty” plays at the Stella Adler Theatre (6773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90027) through April 5. For more information, please call (323) 873-6482.