Only caught one play on the weekend to tell you about

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I got seriously started on all of my Christmas shopping, and card writing. The holidays have a way of taking up all of our spare time. Every year it’s a mad rush, but each year we somehow survive it, and start all over again … resolutions intact by Jan. 1. Exhausting but predictable!

Tom, Dick and Harry Meet Mary

Photo by Miriam Geer

From l, Alex Wells, Tom Groenwald, Donna Luisa Guinan, and J. Laurence Landis in “Tom, Dick and Harry Meet Mary.”

A dark comedy about an ex-nun, now searching for a “spiritual connection,” with a worthy man. She signs on to an online dating service, and the “whackos” come out of the closet. The play chronicles her journey, as we meet three lonely, quirky, and “offbeat” suitors, who respond to her computer ad. Donna Luisa Guinan gives a heartfelt performance as the lonely “born again Christian” … looking for love in all the wrong places. Her at home visits with three dysfunctionally radical men who have life issues of their own … is the premise of the play. We first meet Tom … a modern day Marxist hippy, who is living in a self-tended commune, and writing a book (Tom Groenwald). Date number two is Dick … a Canadian atheist, and Army deserter, with a flask of booze in his pocket (Alex Wells). Date number three is Harry … a “marriage phobic” single father, who has given up on the concept of romance (J. Lawrence Landis). All three suitors are pretty creepy, and attempt physical moves on Mary, unaware of her past as a nun. As Mary endures multiple meetings with each man, hoping to find a soul mate suitable to her beliefs and faith, we are reminded how difficult it is to “connect” in matters of love. Commendable lighting and sound, by the constantly working Kent Inasy, must be mentioned. Brief appearance by John DeYoung as Sgt. Riley. Written and Directed by John Stark … while the concept is intriguing and well intended, I felt that the production as a whole wasn’t yet ready for an audience. The spare set sorely lacked mood-setting inspiration, and badly needs more realistic exits and entrances. The “pay off” scene, where Mary reveals herself to the men as a nun, was my favorite scene of the play! A unique story concept, with many possibilities … but for me, it just didn’t quite gel. Hopefully, by now it has all fallen into place. Running through Dec. 23 at The Odyssey Theatre located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. in West Los Angeles. For seats call (310) 477-2055 or go to OdysseyTheatre.com. Tickets are $18.

I’ll be back next week to tell you all about two highly anticipated Holiday Themed Productions. “A Snow White Christmas” … a British Panto, presented by the Nigel Lythgoe Family, at The Pasadena Playhouse … “Christmas My Way – A Sinatra Holiday Bash,” starring a foursome of musical theater notables, at NoHo’s El Portal Theatre. I look forward to both of them!

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