Since the passing of legendary author J.D. Salinger, ‘coming of age’ stories in print and on stage are all the more meaningful. Angelos at Studio/Stage in Hollywood is based on playwright Tony Perzow’s hometown barbershop, and the human caricatures who inspired this production.
David (Frank Salinas), an angst-ridden young Chassidic man, wishes to escape his restrictive lifestyle and makes an aborted attempt to rob Angelo’s and its motley crew of patrons. With twists and turns galore, the no-nonsense victims identify with David’s inner turmoil, and serve as mentors. They conspire to help find his way in the universe… from roots to wings.
Like the protagonists in Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, Chaim Potok’s The Chosen and My Name is Asher Lev, and Gunter Grass’ The Tin Drum, David is a young adult filled with confusion. The play, a mix of straight drama and comedy, deals with complex issues of identity, belonging, alienation, and father/son relations.
Scores of viewers will appreciate the catchy dialogue and repartee: “You’re not exactly the best criminal in the world,” states Uncle Moe the Shylock (Jack Kandel). Retorts young David, “I’m a prisoner to my lifestyle…no one talks to me unless they look like me…every day is the same exact mundane thing… no joy or adventure, except Purim!”
In this ‘better than Purim-shpiel comedy,’ Angelo’s has all the right elements for entertainment extraordinaire: cohesive ensemble, dynamic script and intriguing plot.
Playing through July 11th, Thursday – Saturday at 8 p.m., Sun at 5 p.m. Studio Stage is located at 520 N. Western. For more information call (310) 807-4842 or visit www.angelostheplay.com.