Parallel Lives is divine romp loaded with laughs thanks to two performers blessed with an abundance of talent. Crista Flanagan and Alice Hunter star in the two-person show playing a mosaic of people who offer various slices of life through carefully crafted sketches. Most are out to tickle your funny bone, but there are a few that take a point of view about issues that need serious contemplation.
Flanagan and Hunter start the entertaining show as “a pair of capricious supreme beings” sporting angel wings and trying to sort out the early days of creation. They figure out who should give birth—the female comes first alphabetically so she wins that gift. As a consolation prize the males get “a third leg” and a big ego.
Parallel Lives goes on from there and makes fun of men and women equally through the many characters portrayed—sisters at the funeral of their grandma; jocks at an NBA game; teenage girls relating to West Side Story; old broads discovering a new age vegan restaurant; Catholic girls in the confessional, etc.
The sketch about the “Disney Moms Support Group” was hilarious, hearing from all the mothers in Disney movies who die when the story starts (like Bambi’s mom) or they’re dead already (like Betty White, mother of Snow and Ethel Mermaid, Ariel’s mom). It’s a funny bit that has a sharp edge to it.
Written by Mo Gaffney (House of Lies, Absolutely Fabulous) and Kathy Najimy (Hocus Pocus, Sister Act), the show played off-Broadway in the 1980s, but it seems the collection of vignettes have been updated since then. The direction by Jenny Sullivan seemed effortless and helped create a comfortable atmosphere to let the actresses shine in the celestial spotlight.
The heavenly setting was by scenic designer Trefoni Michael Rizzi, and transformative styles were from costume designer Alex Jaeger. Lighting designer was Pablo Santiago, sound designer John Zalewski, props designer Warren Casey, casting director Sandi Logan, CSA and stage manager Dale Alan Cooke.
Parallel Lives is now playing through Sunday, September 18th with shows Wednesday to Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 4pm, at the Falcon Theatre located at 4252 Riverside Dr. in Toluca Lake.
The play is part of the five shows that the late-great comedy legend Garry Marshall, founder of the Falcon Theatre, picked for this season. So he will continue to share the gift of laughter with everyone who comes to enjoy live theatre.
Call (818) 955-8101 for tickets or visit FalconTheatre.com.