‘A Dull Pain Turned Sharp’ examines definition of family

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A serio-comic look at what it means to be a family, A Dull Pain Turned Sharp blends fine acting and creative production work to thoughtfully examine issues relevant to our times. Mixing together elements of Ozzie and Harriet and Modern Family, the production reveals that constructed families can be as strong and powerful as actual blood ones.

Traditional mom Linda (Barbara Brownell) dreams of conventional happiness as a grandmother, while daughter Julie (Amy Earhart) treasures her independence. When Elizabeth (Janet Wood) comes calling about carrying on her dead son’s lineage, how will they all resolve their individual ideas of love and family life?

Playwright Brent Beerman reflects on conflicting issues in society today, showing how they actually accomplish the same ends through different means. Love and family are about acceptance and support, not judgment and hate. Beerman sometimes goes overboard with graphic language though, making the production suitable only for mature audiences.

The cast works extremely well together, with good chemistry and excellent timing really selling the jokes, aided by director Kay Cole’s witty eye. Earhart shines as the free spirit Julie; vivacious, expressive, and touching. Todd Andrew Ball gives a sensitive, nuanced performance as the grieving Dorin. Wood’s Elizabeth comes on like a ball of fire and doesn’t let go.

Production work is first rate, with nice sound effects and set design adding texture to the production.

A Dull Pain Turned Sharp provides an intelligent and entertaining look at contemporary family issues.

The Group Rep presents the World Premiere of A Dull Pain Turned Sharp Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm through June 4th at the Lonny Chapman Theatre located at 10900 Burbank Blvd. in North Hollywood. Street parking is available. Tickets are $25, $20 for seniors/students and $15 for groups of 10 or more. Talk-back (Q&A) happens Sunday, April 30th after the matinee.

For information call (818) 763-5990 or visit TheGroupRep.com to purchase tickets.

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