An opening-night packed house was on hand to see award-winning playwright Sam Shepard’s play The Late Henry Moss. This piece relates the playwright’s own relationship with his father through a fictional recounting.
Two brothers are reunited after their father, Henry, is found dead in his run downNew Mexicohome. Initially, their reunion is amicable as they seek reconciliation and determine what happened even though the two have a deep resentment of each other.
Henry is angry, harassing, arrogant, and an old drunk with an occasional tender moment who suddenly comes into money. In addition, Henry is lovers with a young Mexican woman, has hired a taxi, and gone fishing. This production is part detective story meshed with domestic drama and unfolds via flashbacks as the brothers strive to build a future that will not replicate their father’s life.
Directed by David Foti, Gary Werntz in the title role is well cast and especially strong, mixing the gruff with the occasional soft. Michael Blum and Mark Adair Rios play the brothers. Others in the cast: Ivet Corvea, Joe Dalo, Gil De Los Santos, Paul McGee, and Jake Christian.
Set designer Joel Daavid pulls together a large set that needs to do a lot and even includes running bath water! Some blocking was difficult to interpret, and yet the play had a nice moment in a couple’s dance which, though brief, added a stage spark.
The Late Henry Moss runs through August 4 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. Theatre 68 is located at 5419 Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles. Tickets are $25. For tickets, visit www.plays411.com/henrymoss or call (323) 960-5068. Visit www.theatre68.com and stay up to date on upcoming productions.