A Lie of the Mind | Archive | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

A Lie of the Mind 

Thursday, Dec 3 2009
As an inaugural staging, Studio Five Productions’ revival of Sam Shepard’s 1985 complex, fractured-memory fable proves an auspicious and appropriate debut. Director John Langs’ vibrant production is not only handsomely mounted and caustically funny, but, for a play about self-deception and misremembering, it goes a long way toward finally wiping away the memory of the Taper’s 1988 austere, Robert Woodruff–helmed L.A. premiere. Believing he’s killed his wife, Beth (Natalie Avital), in a jealous rage, Jake (Lance Kramer) flees to his Southern California boyhood home to hide out with his overly doting, widowed mother, Lorraine (Casey Kramer), and black-sheep sister, Sally (Maury Morgan). Unbeknownst to Jake, Beth has survived the assault and been whisked away by her overprotective brother, Mike (P.J. Marshall), to the rural Montana home of their bombastic father, Baylor (John Combs) and ditsy mother, Meg (Jennifer Toffel). While Jake and Beth recover from their respective traumas — his a self-lacerating guilt that has transformed him into a cowering wreck; hers a severe concussion that has left her physically and mentally impaired — the story’s one truth seeker, Jake’s brother Frankie (Logan Fahey), is himself crippled when the befuddled Baylor literally shoots the messenger. While myriad hidden truths will eventually come out, it’s not before Shepard lays bare the self-deluding, foundational myths of each family in blistering parodies of Greek tragedy and frontier lore. Along the way, Langs and his flawless ensemble nimbly navigate the difficult transition between brutal domestic violence and sly, screwball farce, aided by Dwayne Burgess’ elegantly expressionistic set, Travis McHale’s atmospheric lights and the dramatic punch of Tim Labor’s sound. Studio/Stage, 520 N. Western Ave., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; through December 20. (888) 534-6001 or studiofiveproductions.org. Studio Five Productions.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Nov. 12. Continues through Dec. 20, 2009
click to enlarge 4235081.t.png

Related Stories

  • Should You Thank Fracking For This Crazy, Sub-$3 Gas in L.A? 2

    Oh, Los Angeles, we know you love to hate fracking. But like a lot of controversial science, it has its upsides.  The L.A. City Council has already said not in my backyard to fracking, largely because environmentalists fear that the process of pushing pressurized liquid into rock formations to squeeze...
  • California Tipsy

    The website Thrillist, with the help of Chris Kolmar of real estate site Movoto, examined the alcoholic attributes of each state in the nation, including the per-capita number of craft breweries and even bar closing times, to determine "America's booziest state." If you guessed that cold, northern locations did well—if only...
  • Party Nation

    Southern California is often seen by the rest of the nation as a cultural outlier, a relatively new region with traditions that are sometimes at odds with the heartland of America. But when it comes to the ultimate celebration of U.S. nationhood, there are few other places that party as...
  • Man Dressed as Grim Reaper Allegedly Stabs Random SoCal Victim in Her Home 3

    What with all the creepy clowns roaming the streets of Bakersfield, it has been an especially eerie Halloween season in California this year. See also: Creepy Clown Sightings Freak Out Bakersfield Now comes word that a Southern California woman was attacked early this Halloween by a stranger who was dressed as...
  • Beer Festivals 3

    Nothing says summer in Southern California like unlimited beer outside on a sunny day. If you're new to craft beer, attending a festival is the perfect way to access many different breweries and styles in one place. Plus food to keep you grounded and music to keep you occupied.  Every...
Reach the writer at braden@laweekly.com

Related Content

Now Trending