I caught a hypnotically involving play on the weekend. Eerily unique and suspenseful… the audience was transfixed from start to finish.
Written brilliantly from some dark corner of their psyches, by Dennis A. Pratt and Robert Vincent O’Neil… this is a powerfully provocative and mind-bending plot. From the shockingly effective opening moment onward… the audience was mesmerized as the story played out. An absolute must see, this offbeat production grabbed our attention in the first 30 seconds, and never let go until the final scene. On a fabulously creative set, surreally designed by Madison Orgill, placing us in a seedy diner, we first meet Harry who has come in for breakfast. He has asked Ray, his longtime associate and “partner in crime” to join him. Harry eventually reveals to Ray that he wants his help in killing a man. Gary Lee Reed as Harry, and Matthew Kimbrough as Ray, give outstandingly compelling, award worthy performances! As Sadie, their bruised and battered young waitress with a smart mouth and plenty of “attitude”… Claire Bermingham is also excellent! A perfectly cast trio… in roles that most actors would “die” to play! It soon becomes apparent to Ray that Harry has been to this eerie eatery before, and has some sort of connection to Sadie… and he wonders why they have met here today.
When Sadie’s macho creep of a boyfriend Raz barges in (Jad Mager) with his partner “thug” Jimmy (Adam Conger) trouble escalates between the four men. A strong ensemble effort… the five performances are all pitch perfect! Why is Harry so interested in Sadie’s life? How are they connected? Being very careful here, not to give away too much of the suspenseful plot line… I’ll borrow the cleverly evasive words written in my press release… “It’s not the ‘who, what, where, or how’ that makes the ‘hit’ so difficult… It’s the ‘why’ Harry wants this man dead that is so damned disturbing!” Mood setting kudos also to Tanya Apuya (costumes), Gary Lamb & Zad Potter (lighting), and Joanne McGee (props). For a totally captivating and unforgettable evening at the “theatah”… Do catch this one! Running through July 14 at Crown City Theatre located at 11031 Camarillo St. in North Hollywood. For tickets or more information: Call (818) 605-5685 or go to crowncitytheatre.com.
If you are a frequent L.A. theatergoer, and have never seen a Crown City Theatre production … You must! Together since 1996, they formerly performed only “Shakespeare” under the theatrical company name of “Excalibur,” upstairs from Jerry’s Deli, at Theatre East. Six years ago, they changed their name and location, and expanded the style of productions they offer at this new location. I always look forward to their unique and well produced productions… whether musical, comical, or dramatic. If you are not yet a follower of their commendable work, this innovative production offers a great time to check them out!
Back next week to tell you all about “ModRock” opening at The El Portal Theatre. Sounds like a nostalgic hoot!