I enjoyed an afternoon meal with family, in the hills of Burbank. No sign of the Easter Bunny … but he left some treats for us!
Slow Dance in Midtown – Compellingly Written and Directed by Elizabeth Sarnoff
A raw and gritty look at the complicated and painful secrets that can simmer beneath the surface, between family and friends … this play is a dose of harsh reality. With a stellar list of TV writing credits (NYPD Blue, Lost, Deadwood, Crossing Jordan, etc.), Sarnoff crafted this script for the “live” stage. Taking place in a dive bar, midtown NYC, two volatile sets of long estranged duos reunite explosively … hashing over the unique circumstances of their bitter separations. Why did their once close bonds and co-mingled involvements long ago come to crashing ends? Why are they all here now in this bar? Combative, harsh, soul searching, humorous, and heart-touching in turns … every emotional nerve is touched here, in four focused and explosive performances. Nick Stabile as Sal, Don Swayze as Frank, Tricia Small as Kate, and a fab ‘n’ feisty Meredith Scott Lynn as Maria … are gut wrenchingly believable! The gorgeously eye-popping and detailed set design by Tom Buderwitz and Andy Hammer, takes a “starring role” of its own. Setting the mood with intricate touches, it was one of the best sets I’ve seen on a smaller equity waiver stage! Jeremy Pivnick’s lighting and Mara Bear’s costumes were also notable.
Can those once valued relationships be revived, or will each go their own ways … wiser and stronger from these eye opening confrontations? David Elzer’s press notes state: “It’s not how two souls come together, but how they move apart, that proves kinship.” This play captures that moment in time. A polished and professional effort all around … yet I expect that this play will get “mixed reviews.” An unusual and complex format, with only two of the characters in each act, I must admit it took me awhile to put the whole concept together, and make sense of it all. I feel sure that “seasoned” theater audiences will enjoy it most … This is certainly no mindless and lighthearted romp! Running through May 12 at the Whitefire Theatre located at 13500 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks. For seats, call (818) 990-2324 or online at www.brownpapertickets.com.
A brief look at the next two plays I’ll see and critique….
Holding On – Letting Go – A World Premiere. Written by Bryan Harnetiaux/Directed by James Reynolds
A drama that focuses on the longtime marriage of basketball coaches, Bobbi and Lee. As Bobbi’s health greatly declines at only 51, the couple must face personal issues and tough decisions. This production reunites the writer and director of National Pastime, about Jackie Robinson, which enjoyed six months of “sold out” audiences here at The Fremont Centre. For early booking, call (866) 811-4111.
The Bridge Club – Written by Richard Raskind/Directed by Mike Sabatino
A deeply troubled man, ready to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, is in for a surprise. Upon arrival, he finds a mouthy young woman perched on the edge of the bridge, who has beaten him to the punch! At Deaf West Theatre in NoHo. For early booking, call (323) 960-7711.
Viva Las Vegas!
I’d like to thank the “Rock-A-Billy” crowd for a fun and profitable period at my vintage clothing store, “Hubba Hubba!” Covered heavily in tattoos, wearing fab 1940s/50s hairstyles and great vintage clothing … these are some of my nicest, most polite, and spirited customers! (mostly ages 21 thru’ 40) On their way to Vegas for a huge annual five day party, called “Viva Las Vegas,” they annually return to me, and send in customers from all over the world, for “period clothing” to “wow ‘em” in Vegas! A yearly reminder to “never judge a book by looking at the cover” … we look forward to their happy faces every April!
See you next week….