Building a Career In Hollywood Takes Time and a Commitment To Finding Your True Identity

As the fight for human rights marches on, it’s usually minorities that carry the burden of educating the majority. Regardless of where the disparity occurs, it takes a constant effort and spotlight aimed at what needs to be changed.

In Hollywood, artists continue to shoulder a good portion of this burden by creating works, taking on roles that portray characters that have been marginalized, and producing stories that are able to penetrate the hearts and minds of those with traditional or old-fashioned attitudes. Theatre artists are particularly adept at creating these stories.

Writer Neil Koenigsberg took up the challenge of creating a play that looks at discrimination against sexual orientation, and gender questioning individuals. “Volunteering at a New York LGBTQ center for homeless youth was a transformative experience for me,” says Neil Koenigsberg. “It became the inspiration for WINK. I wanted to tell a story about a non-binary kid, about the unexpected connections that happen in life and how it can forever inspire and change us.”

Taking place in Hollywood, the title role in “Wink” is played by non-binary actor Andrik Ochoa. The journey to finding their own identity has been a long and challenging one for Andrik, but well worth the work. Finding the perfect role in WINK feels synchronistic, not unlike the meeting of the two lead characters in Koenigsberg’s play.

HR: What drew you to this story and inspired you to audition for the role of “Wink?”

Andrik: At first, I was just curious about the audition and excited about getting back to acting after taking a break. As soon as I read this phrase in the play, “Nowadays youth describe their sexuality by not describing it,” I fell in love. I haven’t been able to find better words to describe my own life. Neil Koenigsberg’s play was a sign, “like poetry,” it became something very personal.

HR: Why do you think that it’s important this play is being done in Los Angeles now?

Andrik: Gender Identity censorship can be a horrifying prison. It is not easy to understand unless you’re going through (that hell). It takes emotional intelligence and sensitivity, and even then sometimes that magical connection of understanding someone else’s life can only be done through stories like “Wink.” Theatre, movies, and TV reach out and change the world, hearts and minds, faster than any political agenda or law. That’s why I think it’s a crucial time for this play to be done in Los Angeles. The conversation is topical and well integrated in a broadening consciousness for parity. I think we need that right now I believe if we all get to be our true selves we’ll be so content there will be no room for hate, frustration or anger.

HR: Would you share some of your personal journey that relates to similar experiences?

Andrik: Truth is I’m a “Wink.” I came here the first time as an exchange student. I met the first girl who ever treated me like a guy and I fell in love like an idiot, it helped me realize who I was. She was the first one I came out to. Once I put enough courage together I returned to LA to think things through next to her, away from my family. I started transitioning with the support of the LGBT center. Over the holidays was the first time that I saw my family in 3 years. Now my mom calls me “Mijito,” my (little) son.

HR: What pronouns do you prefer?

Andrik: I’m ok with any, even though he/his is my favorite. It is who I always dreamed of being and my social statement. They/them is not easy for everyone but I appreciate when people use it. I don’t mind and I even like being called She sometimes because, even while being a man I realized I was faking and trapped as much as I was when I was a woman. I understood that a huge part of who I truly am is actually feminine. So at some point I just said f*#! it, enough about having to explain myself, I’m going to be true to my heart every moment and stop worrying about boxes.

HR: Building a career in Hollywood is not easy. What have been the biggest challenges for you so far?

Andrik: Being who I am has been a double bladed sword. As an outsider, an immigrant and a gender rebel, of course is been harder to find a place in this industry.

But, at the same time, once you find that place it becomes yours, and it will take you far because it’s honest. If I weren’t who I am and hadn’t gone through the struggle that I faced, I would have nothing to say. Finding who I am was the biggest change! Before that, all my emotions were like far behind a wall. It made acting so much easier. I can’t believe how much that has changed. It’s like magic.

Wink continues this weekend at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, and at 3pm on Sunday. Zephyr Theatre is at 7456 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046. Tickets $15 – $45.

Reservation and information at www.Plays411.com/Wink and 323-960-1055. Wheelchair access and ample street parking.

A Holiday Treat for Angelenos Tired of the Same Ole Holiday Treats

Los Angeles: December 12, 2018

Offbeat holiday entertainment is a good bet with names like NPR’s Sandra Tsing Loh, and director Bart DeLorenzo attached. Loh’s SUGAR PLUM FAIRY is running at the Skylight Theatre (the company won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award this year “Best Production” for ROTTERDAM). This production is an original holiday treat offering festive cheer while engaging audiences to participate (think G-rated “Rocky Horror” fun).

Appropriate for ages 8 to 80, and beyond, SUGAR PLUM FAIRY tells the story of a 12 year-old girl who dreams of dancing the lead in The Nutcracker. Audiences are encouraged to come decked out in ugly holiday sweaters, tutus, and Hanukah hats and be prepared to join in the 75 minutes of madcap merriment. Joining Sandra Tsing Loh are some award winners that you might recognize, Tony Abatemarco and Shannon Holt.

“Wildly successful. Ideal antidote for…’A Christmas Carol.’ Check out Sandra Tsing Loh’s rollicking ‘Sugar Plum Fairy’ as a modern glimpse of the Christmas season, and if you sit close enough to the stage you might go home with one of the show’s props’ – Los Angeles Times

Sandra Tsing Loh is a writer and performer whose solo theatre shows include Aliens in America and Bad Sex With Bud Kemp (both off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre), Sugar Plum Fairy (Geffen Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre), I Worry (The Kennedy Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville) and The Bitch Is Back (Broad Stage). Her bestselling New York Times Notable Book, Mother on Fire, was inspired by her hit solo show in 2005, during which time Variety named her one of America’s 50 most influential comedians. Her memoir, The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones, was selected as one of The New York Times’ 100 Most Notable Books; it was inspired by her Best American Essay in The Atlantic, for which she is a contributing editor. The play version of Madwoman premiered at South Coast Repertory in January 2016 and subsequently ran at the Pasadena Playhouse and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Loh has been a regular commentator on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and on Public Radio International’s “This American Life” and “Marketplace;” her daily radio minute, “The Loh Down on Science,” is heard locally on KPCC (89.3 FM) and is internationally syndicated.

Skylight Theatre Company is recognized as a “powerhouse of new play development” by Dramatist Magazine, many of Skylight’s World Premieres have gone on to be performed nationally and internationally; Church & State (Jason Odell Williams) opened Off Broadway in 2017 and has been performed in 24 states; Dontrell, Who Kissed The Sea by Nathan Alan Davis (a co-production with Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble) received the prestigious Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association Citation.

Sugar Plum Fairy runs at 8:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays, 3:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays through December 23, 2018. Skylight Theatre is located at 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave, LA, 90027. Tickets are $15 – $43, includes tickets for Children and Seniors. Tickets online at http://SkylightTix.org

 

Come From Away: Review

By Peter Foldy:

If you believe that people are basically decent in nature, COME FROM AWAY, the sensational Tony Award Winning musical, which opened at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, is solid proof. The story takes place in a little know place called Gander, Newfoundland. It’s in Canada and is the site of Gander International Airport, once an important refueling stop for transatlantic aircraft, and still a preferred emergency landing point for aircraft facing on-board medical or security issues.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, the townsfolk of Gander learn of the terrorist attacks taking place in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The attacks result in US airspace being closed, forcing 38 international aircrafts to land unexpectedly at the Gander Airport. The population of the small Newfoundland town goes from 9000 to 16,000 over night.

The Gander townspeople spring to action and prepare to house, feed, clothe and comfort the nearly 7,000 passengers (along with 19 animals in cargo).

The Company of the First North American Tour of “Come From Away.”

Once allowed off the planes and transferred to various emergency shelters in and around Gander, the passengers and crew learn the true reason why they were grounded. Frightened, they try desperately try to contact their families and pray for their loved ones, while the townsfolk work through the night to help them in any and every way possible. The travelers are initially taken aback by their hosts’ uncommon hospitality, but they slowly let their guards down and begin to bond with the quirky townspeople, as well as each other. Friendships and romances develop and the bonds that are made seem solid and long lasting.

The book, music and lyrics of this simple but brilliant production are by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. The composers incorporate Newfoundland’s Irish, English and Cornish musical traditions into a driving, foot-tapping score that grows on you and manages to penetrate your soul.

Stand out numbers include “Welcome to the Rock,” performed by the entire cast, Nick Duckart’s “Prayer,” and Danielle K. Thomas performing “I Am Here,” singing about the helplessness she feels as she wonders about the fate of her firefighter son in Manhattan.

The cast also includes; Cast: Kevin Carolan, Harter Clingman, Chamblee Ferguson, Becky Gulsvig, Julie Johnson, Christine Toy Johnson, James Earl Jones II, Megan Mcginnis, Andrew Samonsky, Emily Walton, Marika Aubrey, Jane Bunting, Michael Brian Dunn, Julie Garnyé, Adam Halpin and Aaron Michael Ray.

A simple but effective set design by Beowulf Boritt perfectly compliments this production. Less is more here, but what you feel is something you may always remember.

“Come From Away” is uplifting and energized. It’s a testament to the fact that people are inherently good and may imprint on you the need to trust and be kind to your neighbor.

The show continues through January 6, 2019, at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre.

Tickets for “Come From Away” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, online at
www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, or by visiting the Center Theatre Group Box Office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets range from $30 – $135 (ticket prices are subject tochange).

The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in
Downtown Los Angeles, 90012.

Monica Piper Delivers The Goods in “Not That Jewish”

Review by: Peter Foldy

You don’t have to be Jewish to relate to Monica Piper’s hilarious, autobiographical one woman show, NOT THAT JEWISH, now playing at the Braid Performance Art Space in Santa Monica.

A respected stand-up comic and Emmy Award winning writer, Ms. Piper takes us on a poignant  journey that introduces us to colorful characters who could have stepped out of a Neil Simon play. There are cousins and uncles, neighbors and grandparent, not to mention Mickey Mantle, but more about him later.

Raised by loving parents in the Bronx, Monica’s father was a performer who gave up his career to support his family.

Though of the Jewish faith, Monica’s immediate clan are “not that Jewish.” They go to temple on high holidays and follow many of the traditions, but are not particularly religious. What they do have is the motivation to do the right thing. To be kind. To accept others. When as a child, she asks her mother if the family has a Jewish heart, mom replies, “yes, darling, we’re Democrats.”

As young Monica begins to develop her wicked sense of humor, her father, perhaps wanting to live vicariously, encourages his daughter to hone her comedy skills.

After a short lived career as a high school teacher, Monica takes her fathers advice and begins doing stand up at the Comedy Store in L.A. A long stint on the road solidifies her act and lands her a Showtime special, garnering a nomination for an American Comedy Award. Piper ends up being one of Showtime Network’s “Comedy All Stars,” and one of the top five female comedians in the country. This show is not about Piper’s accomplishments. It’s about winning and losing, and most of all it’s about laughing through it all.

Monica’s saga is both touching and heartbreaking. Getting back to that Mickey Mantle story, it concerns her childhood obsession with the great baseball star. She has his pictures on her wall and he is an inspiration to her, to the point that she marries not one but two tall light haired, blue-eyed non Jewish men. When  she finally encounters “the Mick” in person, years later in a New York bar, their interaction is both creepy and awkward–but like all of her anecdotes, it’s hilarious.

Never meet your heros, they say.

Ms. Piper’s comedy skills, both verbal and physical, are finely tuned and the laughs keep coming–even if some of them are through your tears.

Clocking in at a fast paced 85 minutes, Not That Jewish is an inspiring, finely crafted comedy performance that should not be missed.

Where:
THE BRAID
Performance & Arts Space
2912 Colorado Ave., #102
Santa Monica, CA  90404

When: 8pm Thursdays and Saturdays
2pm and 7:30pm all Sundays
Added performance at 8pm on Wednesday, December 12

Closes: December 16, 2018

How:
Reservations: at www.jewishwomenstheatre.org or (310) 315-1400

How much: $35 – $45

 

 

 

EST/LA Launches New Works in “Launchpad”

A two-week series featuring new plays, 7 full-length and 4 short plays, is currently being offered from one of Los Angeles’ most noted development companies, Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA.

Developing new voices in theatre, EST/LA draws from a wealth of talent, which includes NYFA, NEA, Guggenheim, Obie, Emmy and Writers Guild Award winners. The Launchpad series is a showcase of plays in long-term development from EST/LA’s Playwrights Unit, and New West playwrights.

Produced by Keith Szarabajka and Kevin Comartin, the featured playwrights include Don Cummings, Marla DuMont, Anne Flanagan, Tony Foster, Elin Hampton, Michael Kaplan, Ron Lagomarsino, Ken Levine, Gabriel Neustadt, Mary Portser, and Ashley Rose Wellman.

Rehearsing The Water Tribe by Don Cummings

Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA has a reputation for nurturing the development of new plays by theater professionals. This company is a gateway to other development programs. The Launchpad series is presented with minimal design in lighting and sound, each work is read and directed by professionals who are working in Los Angeles theatre.

New full-length plays include: Lineage, Hot Tragic Dead Thing, The Water Tribe, Tail of the Bell, Our Time, Waltzer and the Wonder Wild, and Jerome.

(Front) Kevin Comartin and Liz Ross (Co-Artistic Directors)
(Back row) Christopher Reiling (Producing Director), Keith Szarabajka (Co-Artistic Directors), and William Duffy (Executive Director)

New short plays include: Stella, The Last Hurrah, A Perfectly Understandable Misunderstanding, and Christmas Fate.

 Directors include Brad Bentz, Bob Burgos, Lauren Campedelli, Bill Charlton, Kevin Comartin, Christopher Curry, Ron Lagomarsino, Rod Menzies, Tony Pasqualini, Christopher James Raymond, Shaina Rosenthal.

Free parking lot ½ block from theatre on Casitas Avenue next to Momed’s Restaurant, or on the street.

LAUNCHPAD runs Thursdays – Sundays at 8pm through November 18, 2018. All shows are $15 advance at: https://dime.io/events/launchpad-2018 or $20 at the door. Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA is located in the Atwater Village Theatre Complex, 3269 Casitas Ave. LA, CA 90039. More information: www.estlosangeles.org/launchpad/ and 818-839-1197.

Map: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Atwater+Village+Theatre/@34.1163388,-118.2519866,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x884dd50594d326e

 

 

Photos by Peter Carrier

The Glass is Half Full at this Thriving Film Company

by Peter Foldy

That’s a wrap for another American Film Market in Santa Monica, which hosted companies from over 28 countries, many attending for the first time. Despite that, AFM actually saw slightly less traffic than in years past, due in part to the new, stricter entrance guidelines.

But one up-and-coming sales company had its busiest market ever in its young existence: NY and LA-based Glass House Distribution. Co-founded by Wall Street Broker-dealer, Bryan Glass and Actor/Writer/Producer, Tom Malloy, the company’s latest comedy, The Outdoorsman, starring Brent Morin (How to Be Single) and Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live) just released theatrically in the US this past Friday and will hit digital outlets November 20th through their partnership with Comedy Dynamics.

David Lawrence, Tom Malloy, Michelle Alexandria and Robert Deege of Glass House

Part of Glass House’s jam-packeded AFM itinerary and recent success can simply be attributed to pure hustle by its four members, President, Tom Malloy, Head of Sales, Robert Deege, Head of International Sales, Michelle Alexandria, and Head of Acquisitions, David Lawrence. But Malloy has another theory. “I can’t tell you the number of times we heard this week that we were this buyer’s or that filmmaker’s favorite meeting here at AFM, which was truly wonderful.”

Sunset at the American Film Market, Santa Monica.

Indeed, it doesn’t take long for anyone in the same room to feel the enthusiasm and jokes, the candor and respect, and the breadth of deep knowledge and experience, the combination of which garners genuine appreciation from across the table.

While it remains to be seen how much business they’ll close in the coming weeks, their upbeat and collaborative spirit has fostered a robust network of relationships, and their titles continue to notch up a level in quality at each market.

Shasheer Zamata at “The Outdoorsman” premiere.
(Photo by: David Levin)

Recent acquisition, Reinventing Rosalee has moved audiences, young and old alike, with its inspirational story. Along with the smiles, Glass House doesn’t shy away from edgier fare. They have just launched a new horror label, Blood House with a handful of scary movies.

One thing’s for sure – if their momentum continues, this company’s glass will be overflowing.

“Oppenheimer” Is Rogue Machine Solid

Review by Peter Foldy

OPPENHEIMER by Tom Morton-Smith is a sweeping and complex play that examines the moral issues and personalities surrounding the invention of the nuclear weapon that was used to devastate Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WWII.

Boasting a cast of 24, the production stars James Liebman as the multi-faceted J. Robert Oppenheimer, a man who is best remembered as the father of the atomic bomb.

When we first meet him, Oppenheimer and his youthful cohorts share a common hatred for fascism and lean toward communism as an acceptable political stance.

With the war raging and the German’s making strides in developing a powerful bomb, Oppenheimer is recruited by the military to lead the work on the Manhattan Project. Before long he distances himself from his communist past and dives into the task at hand. He struggles with the rigors of army life, is challanged by an alcoholic wife and tries to be supportive to his mentally unstable mistress. Causing further problems are Oppenheimer’s brother and sister-in-law who refuse to step back from their communist leanings.

Michael Redfield, Dan Via, Rachel Avery, James Liebman, Jennifer Pollono, and Mark Jacobson

The competative political climate at Los Alamos ultimately finds Oppenheimer under the U.S. Army’s, and perhaps the FBI’s, microscope–but the military need him as much as they are confounded by him. Oppenheimer and his young scientists, who come to be known as “Oppie’s boys” eventually manage to split the atom. They send the bombs, “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” to be dropped on Japan, and while they win the war for America, Oppenheimer and his team change the dynamics for the survival of mankind.

Realizing the full impact of his accomplishments, Oppenheimer feels like “he has dropped a loaded gun in a playground.” He understands that the bomb he has created could wipe humanity off the face of the earth.

Its a heavy burden to carry.

Mark Jacobson, Kenney Selvey, James Liebman, Brewster Parsons, and Zachary Grant

Liebman cleverly balances Oppenheimer’s social unease, his brilliant mind and his sexual appetite. He is supported by a talented, hard-working cast who all deliver impressive performances. There are no slouches on stage. Every actor has a moment to shine. Particularly impressive are Zachary Grant as Robert Wilson, Ron Bottitta as General Grove, Ryan Brophy as Oppenheimer’s brother, Frank, Miranda Wynne as Jackie Oppenheimer, Landon Tavernier as Peer de Silva and Kenney Selvey as Giovanni Rossi Lomanitz.

Special mention also needs to go to 14 year old Sophie Pollono, who in a brief but memorable turn delivers some powerful dialogue with the ease of a seasoned professional.

Ron Bottitta, Landon Tavernier, Brendan Farrell

John Perrin Flynn’s fluid direction keeps the lengthy piece moving at a good clip. I especially welcomed the staging of a wild, ritualistic dance number in the second act, based on the Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist Richard Feynman’s bongo playing. It’s a climactic, tension busting moment that celebrates the success of the Manhattan Project, allowing the cast to cut loose while also giving the audience a moment of much needed levity.

Other cast members include Jason Chiumento, Mark Jacobson, Kirsten Kollander, Brewster Parsons, Scott Victor Nelson, Jen Pollono, Rachel Avery, Michael Redfield, Dan Via, Brendon Farrel, Brady Richards, Daniel Shawn Miller, Rick Garrison and Marwa Bernstein.

Scenic design by Stephanie Kerley Schwartz, sound by Christopher Moscatiello and lighting design by Matt Richter and Tom Brown are all solid, as are the 1940s costumes by Dianne K. Graebner. It’s clear that a lot of thought and hard work went into making Rogue Machine’s first production in their new space at the Electric Lodge in Venice a memorable one.

Oppenheimer is absorbing and powerful. It should not be misssed.

Oppenheimer runs at 8pm on Saturdays and Mondays, 3pm Sundays through December 30, 2018 (no performances on 11/12, 11/17, 11/26, 12/1, 12/2, 12/8, 12/9, 12/10, 12/24).

It runs in rep with Finks by Joe Gilford, son of parents who were blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Both plays look at America in the 30s, 40s and 50s. The characters are dreamers who became activists. These plays are not about politics but about the universal ideal that we could be better than we are.

Rogue Machine is located in the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Avenue in Venice, CA 90291.

Tickets are $40.

Reservations: 855-585-5185 or at www.roguemachinetheatre.com

 

Bridget Griggs Returns To L.A. With New And Vibrant Art

by Peter Foldy:

Artist, Bridget Griggs, loves California! She has recently returned to Los Angeles. to showcase Tribal Love, a David Bowie-inspired work of art, as well as her intriguing abstract Infinity series that was birthed in L.A. in 2015. That was the year she drove from Toronto and found a new and powerful direction that has since led to many opportunities. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, because less than two years later she was back to painting live with David Bowie’s band at The Wiltern Theater.

Bridget also created a David Bowie inspired mural in 2016, on Lafayette Street in NYC, that Bowie’s wife, Iman, gave a nod to by sharing it with her many followers.

Born in Canada, where she began her creative journey, Bridget is recognized for her artistic virtuosity. Her paintings can  be seen in numerous public spaces across Canada and the US, including the lobby of The Fairmont Hotel in Calgary,  Odgers Berndtson at the Royal Bank Plaza, Totum Fitness Life Science, offices of the TD Financial Group to name just a few.

Bridget has a strong symbolic message in her work and it inevitably evokes positive feelings. Her expression is spontaneous and prolific. Her work is dynamic and her painting are being seen and appreciated in private and public collections across the globe. Without a doubt she is gathering new fans and supporters every day.

Most recently, Iman Bowie, again blessed Bridget’s work a big shout out via Instagram, praising her “We Can Be Heroes” series.

You can see more of her work here://bridgetgriggsart.com/new-infinity-infinities-series-black-and-white-on-paper/

 

 

 

Bridget is in Los Angeles until November 19th/18.
Contact her direct to align with her work:
artistbridgetgriggs@gmail.com
www.bridgetgriggsart.com

Antaeus’ “Little Foxes” Are Irresistibly Cunning

Review by Lucy Houlihan

The Little Foxes at Antaeus Theatre is stunning in both its appearance and its execution, and powerfully kicks off the Glendale Theatre’s new season. From the set, to the acting, to the costumes, this production gives an updated and captivating take on Lillian Hellman’s Post-reconstructionist Southern drama.

Rob Nagle, Deborah Puette, Timothy Adam Venable, Mike McShane, Calvin Picou, Jocelyn Towne

The extraordinary set (designed by John Iacovelli) is covered in perfectly ostentatious details: from sculptures of lounging women to black marble columns. However, the thing that draws the eye most intensely is the bright blue, velvet cameo back sofa. It is this extravagance, this garishness that drives the story of the Hubbards in Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes.

The sofa acts as a center for the action and the emotion of the room, Cameron Watson’s direction ensures the characters circle the grandiosity while scheming with and against each other. While the Hubbard siblings each grasp for the wealth they believe they deserve, they use the sofa to stoke their fires, a gorgeous reminder of a “by-any-means-necessary” itinerary.

Jocelyn Towne and Deborah Puette

Deborah Puette plays the brilliant and severe Regina Hubbard Giddens, who uses the sofa to trap her family where she wants them, a spider in a web full of seats. Her husband (John DeMita) and her brothers (Mike McShane and Rob Nagle) are at her whims, try as they might to stay ahead.

Jocelyn Towne’s remarkable performance as Regina’s sister-in-law and foil, Birdie,  is honest and captivating in its frenzied victimhood. Judy Louise Johnson shines in her kindness and poise as Regina’s black maid, whose presence in the script both solidifies the play in its 1900s setting and draws attention to the racial issues still present in America today. Kristin Couture is powerful as the the young daughter, who holds onto the hope of escaping and standing up to the locusts “who eat the earth and eat all the people on it.”

John DeMita and Judy Louise Johnson

The Little Foxes is written with the women at the forefront, and Puette, Towne, Louise Johnson, and Couture certainly stand their ground and provide a compelling, poignant view of feminism both then and now. The acting on all sides is superb, and Watson’s direction shows deep knowledge and reverence to Hellman’s characters and her story.

Anteaeus Theatre’s production is designed and performed to perfection, an enchanting two-and-a-half hours that should not be missed.

Where: Antaeus Theatre Company

Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center

110 E. Broadway

Glendale, CA 91205

When: opens Oct. 25 and runs through Dec. 10.

How much: $35

Photos by: Geoffrey Wade Photography

antaeus.org

“Cal in Camo” Is Compelling and Suspenseful

Play Review by Peter Foldy

Writer, William Francis Hoffman’s CAL IN CAMO, making it’s West Coast Premiere at the VS Theatre is a chilling, metaphoric drama with dialogue as raw as it’s wounded characters. The story revolves around Tim and Cal, a young married couple adrift in what seems to be a hopelessly doomed relationship. Like their newly bought home in rural Illinois, their marriage is at risk of sinking. Cal suffers from postpartum depression and is unable to produce breast milk for their newborn baby daughter  We soon learn that her problems go a lot deeper. Abandoned as a young child by her mother, Cal grew up in foster homes and has no family other than a brother, Flynt. A hunter with a deep connection to nature, Flynt has recently lost his wife in a tragic drowning accident.

Bree Turner and Brad Raider

To help her brother heal, Cal invites Flynt to spend a few days at their recently bought, isolated home in rural Illinois. This doesn’t bode well with Tim, especially when he learns that Cal flew Flynt first class, despite the fact that they are struggling to make ends meet. Tim has also not forgotten that Flynt walked out in the middle of their wedding reception, taking Tim’s favorite tie that his brother-in-law borrowed for the occasion.

Tim Cummings

A loner with a connection to nature, Flynt arrives wearing camouflage. Never a good sign. He says little and when he speaks he talks of pending doom. With turbulant weather on the horizon, and a rifle that is introduced into the mix, one gets the sinking feeling that this story will not have a happy ending.

Flynt’s visit does ultimately prove purposeful. Though he can’t give his sister what she asks of him,  Flynt does inspire Cal to seek what she desperately needs.

Brad Raider and Bree Turner

Bree Turner delivers a powerful performance as the vulnerable Cal, bravely exposing her character’s broken heart. Brad Raider’s Tim manages to evoke empathy as a failed beer salesman, struggling to keep his marriage together. Tim Cummings brings a cloud of mystery to this brooding tale, his presence elevating the sense of danger that builds throughout, not unlike the approaching storm that will either wreck havoc or clense the wounds that need healing.

Tim Cummings and Brad Raider

With solid direction from Amy K Harmon, impressive set design by Se Hyun Oh, and an outstanding score by Chris Moscatiello, who also created the sound design, Cal in Camo delivers a compelling and emotional roller coaster ride.

Cal in Camo plays at 8pm Thursdays-Saturdays, and 3pm Sundays through November 9, 2018.

VS. Theatre is located at 5453 Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles, 90019.

Tickets are $20 – $35. Reservations: reddogsquadron.com

For more information call: 323-739-4411

Photos by: David Rodriguez