Craig Wright (Orange Flower Water, Recent Tragic Events) wrote this play about time, in 2005, and this is its Los Angeles premiere. Being about time, and small-town folk, it ambles onto the poetical-theatrical turf of Thornton Wilder and Dylan Thomas, which could explain why the narrator (Chris Smith) is clad in black. He reminds us (in case we might forget) that were in a theater. He propels a Styrofoam ball across a wire to represent a shooting star, as background for a very bitter, slightly sweet romance between Kathi (Kristin Chiles) and Peter (Tim Hamelen) at their 10-year high school reunion. (Smith jumps in often in drag to play all the sniggering, swaggering peers Kathi and Peter crash into, many also suffering the heartache of time passing.) Peter is now floundering and Kathis in a desolate marriage. Peter left Kathi pregnant in high school; on his fathers orders, he stopped answering her calls like a cad. And now hes returned to make amends, shes not having much of it, or him, for a while. Chiles Act 1 shrillness yields to an emotional depth approaching wisdom in Act 2. Hamelen reveals an appealing sensitivity and stoic resolve throughout. Wright includes too much precious narration in order to put a high school reunion in the context of the Big Bang and the rise and fall of empires. Obren Milanovic directs with wistful intelligence before trying to charm us with the cleverness of the plays many theatrical conceits. Some in the audience might have been charmed.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Aug. 21. Continues through Oct. 5, 2008