I hope all of you are having a fun and eventful summer…
The War Zone Is My Bed
This play is heavy stuff folks… but engrossingly rewarding on many levels. Written with soulful realism and aching beauty by Yasmine Rana, it is an in depth look at human survival and spiritual decline, during unthinkably challenging times of war. A darkly moving wartime story, seen through the eyes of a female journalist and others, as they suffer the ravages of war, and seek temporary companionship in seedy bedrooms… this is a torrid tale. Spanning the years between 1994 and 2007, we peer into the political concerns and relationships of wartime victims and lovers, from Sarajevo, to Kabul, Dubrovnik, and later in New York. Presented in six scenes, the characters’ lives grippingly intertwine on a minimal and “bare bones” set, with sultry and moody lighting (both designed by Jonathan Harrison). A tousled bed at center stage, an informative overhead video screen, and a haunting music score by Gary Ito, set the mood… with a few changes in set locations. Most productions here are offered in a similar “no frills” style… focusing mainly on “the work.” There are always many fine actors at “Write Act,” and this cast is no exception. Under the hypnotically raw direction of Kenneth Cosby, we follow the turbulent life of Dahlia, a war zone journalist (passionately played by Liana Johnston). Trying to make sense of the horrors of war, clutching at companionship wherever she can, she says, “I benefit from other’s losses and stories… We collect people, each giving up a piece of themselves as we talk.” As the play opens in a bombed out apartment in Sarajevo, she must say goodbye to Peter (also a journalist), her departing six month long lover, now returning home to his wife in New York (played with smoldering sizzle by Scott Blair). In scene two in Kabul, an Afghani prostitute and her frequent lover and benefactor must part… A powerful scene… brilliantly played by Sharmila Devar and Cyrus Khamneipur. As the play unfolds, the characters return and intermingle in some cases. In New York, cigarette and booze in hand, a lonely and beaten down Melanie Cruz gives a flawless and heartfelt monologue performance. As Peter’s long suffering wife, “emotionally widowed” by his wartime efforts… she is mesmerizing! Rounding out the cast, as a Bosnian journalist, David Ghilardi is spirited, as he “hooks up” with Dahlia, for a seaside “getaway” in Dubrovnik. The final scene is quite moving… as Dahlia and Peter re-meet in New York after a few years, and ponder the roads their lives have traveled. A darkly worthy and thought provoking “slice of life” production… well acted throughout… you must act quickly to catch it! Only three performances left at 8 o’clock this Thursday, Friday and Saturday!
The Write Act Repertory Theatre is located at 6128 Yucca St. in Hollywood. For seats (only $15), call (323) 469-3113.
This troupe consistently runs their productions for three weeks. I wish they’d go for at least four weeks, as it takes awhile for “reviews” to come out, and “word to spread”… and they definitely should be seen by L.A. theatre enthusiasts!
Sex and Education at Burbank’s Victory Theatre
Due to favorable response and delighted audiences, this sassy ‘n snappy “adult” comedy has been extended thru’ August 7. A trio of strong performances and much “food for thought.” Try to get out and enjoy it! Call (818) 841-5421.
A personal “shout out” to my friend and longtime hair stylist, Sheryl Barker –
Now at “Hair Elements” next to The Falcon Theatre (on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays). If you’re looking for a local “artiste” to keep your hair in shape… stop in and meet her. She is friendly, reasonable, reliable, knows what she’s doing, and has just moved to the Toluca Lake “hood.” She does both men and women… and “coifs” many local film and TV executives! To book an appt. or for more info, call her at (818) 842-4126. Tell her I sent you!
That’s my “chit chat” for this time. More to come next week…