Loading...

The Time of Your Life 

Thursday, Apr 17 2008
Comments
Do not take your recovering-alcoholic relative to see William Saroyan’s 1940 Pulitzer Prize–winning drama. Aside from the ensemble piece’s meandering plot, it takes place in the universe’s seemingly most pleasant lowbrow gin joint that also celebrates dipsomania. Wealthy businessman Joe (Robb Derringer) is a fixture at the cheesy San Francisco tavern run by jovial barkeep Nick (Christopher Shaw), who keeps a gimlet eye on the human flotsam that parades through his door. Although we’re not sure where the well-off Joe has gotten his money, he uses it for sheer pleasure, shelling out chunks of it on toys, chewing gum, champagne, and funds for his sad-faced pal, Tom (Matt McTighe), to woo his golden-hearted prostitute sweetheart, Kitty (Shiva Rose). Director Matt McKenzie’s colorful and atmospheric production is staged in honor of Saroyan’s 100th anniversary. The play’s awkward mix of the maudlin, the turgid, and rambling bloat has aged poorly. That said, McKenzie’s crisp and energetic staging is powerful and intermittently moving — and the show is blessed with a number of sympathetic performers. Derringer is all charm and optimistic affability as Joe, while Shaw, equal parts best friend and ambivalent Mephistopheles, is the perfect publican. Deft turns are also offered by the supporting cast, a brilliant collection of the kind of weathered-faced souls you’d find on Skid Row. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: March 29. Continues through June 1, 2008

Related Stories

  • Yes, Rents in L.A. Continue to Increase 6

    It's not your imagination. Even in these dull economic times we somehow describe as a "recovery," rents in Los Angeles are surging even higher. It's all about supply and demand, and a lot of you want or need a place to say in our fine city. The real estate website Trulia today...
  • Free Brownies?

    A random act of kindness starts like this: a rain of cocoa powder, dark and rich and intensely chocolatey, poured into a big ceramic bowl with sugar and butter, then creamed with vanilla and eggs, then flour and salt (a very simple recipe; use excellent chocolate; don't forget the salt)...
  • Hey L.A., It's Time to Start Hating San Francisco 77

    If Los Angeles has an inferiority complex, it's usually in regard to New York. Our deal with San Francisco and the greater Bay Area was never about feeling inferior. Far from it. They sneered at us, but we never bothered to sneer back. San Francisco always seemed so pretty and...
  • Apartment Quake

    Gracie Zheng's March L.A. Weekly report on L.A.'s earthquake-prone apartment buildings should have embarrassed city leaders. See also: An Earthquake Could Topple Hundreds of Buildings, and L.A. Leaders Are Doing Nothing While San Francisco not only knows how many "soft-story" buildings it has (and where they are), it's requiring owners to undertake $60,000 to...
  • Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards Finalists Include Bestia, Honeycut, Harvard & Stone

    Tales of the Cocktail, the world's largest and best-known cocktail conference, is coming up in New Orleans in mid-July. Apart from days of seminars and debauchery, one of the biggest draws of the event is the Spirited Awards, considered some of the most important in the bartending community. Over the...

Related Content

Now Trending