JT Rogers' intriguing drama is set at various times in a hotel in Rome and begins with three ostensibly unconnected monologues. A 20-something woman named June (Deana Barone) expounds with intensity about individuals who mysteriously disappear. A condescending matriarch, Lillian (Taylor Gilbert), confides how she copes with life's unpleasant realities. And a rumpled economist, Nathan (Sam Anderson), reveals his social awkwardness and professional limitations, contrasting his gracelessness with the brilliant charm of his colleague Arthur, sought after by governments and multinational companies. Gradually the links between these troubled people emerge. Haunting all three is the anguishing specter of June's twin brother, Paul, who, obsessed over by his mother and sister, escaped to Africa and then vanished without a trace. Rogers' rich, dense dialogue winds back and forth over decades, and comes full of twists and turns that startle the characters, as well as the audience. This provocative and enthralling ride is facilitated by three memorable performances (Anderson's confounded and melancholy paramour is indelibly moving). Director Brendon Fox's elegant staging works with Helen Harwell's set, Christian Epps' lighting, and David B. Marling's sound design to form the integral elements of this accomplished production. Road Theatre Company at the Lankershim Arts Center, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., N.Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; in rep through June 26. (866) 811-4111, RoadTheatre.org.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sun., July 11, 2 & 7 p.m.; July 15-17, 8 p.m. Starts: May 7. Continues through June 26, 2010