By Debbie Kagy
Inspired by an actual court case, Sand in the Air takes a satirical look at the corporate politics of a small border town.
When young Dr. Howard Bogatch (Devin Williamson) arrives in Yaktaw, Texas, he is excited to be the town’s one and only doctor. Howard soon discovers himself to be the center of a court case involving the women of the town factory. Accused of sexual misconduct in his consulting room, he has no choice but to fight the charges with the only town lawyer, Billy Rafferty (Larry Gesling), who seems to know more about the case than he lets on. As tensions mount and friends turn to enemies, it becomes clear that the people in town have been dangerously playing with politics instead of searching for truth and justice.
Director Teresa Dowell-Vest uses the entire space to make the audience feel a part of this issue. In the final court scene, Diane Alayne Baker, who plays prosecuting attorney Nola Montgomery, faces off with Williamson, where the pair circles the audience as their closing arguments overlap, pushing the jury to its verdict.
The cast does a great job of creating the small town feel that is held together by the factory that rules it. Gesling plays a standout character whose amusing lawyer jokes do their job to deflect the truth he is hiding. Barbara Lanigan portrays the town floozy, Thelmae, and is easily remembered for her flashy clothing and swinging gait.
Nicely written by Brian Raine, Sand in the Air depicts an underlying comment on the excessive use of prescription drugs in American society.
Sand in the Air runs Fridays and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. April 30 through May 28, at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre located at 2627 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica. Tickets are $18 ($15 for student/seniors).
For reservations, go to www.morgan-wixson.org or contact the Box Office at (310) 828-7519.