Sorry, your Biddy was right. It was one of the worst plays I have ever sen and the ending didn't make it less so.
By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
The tenderness between the misfit, almost mortally lonely Stitch and his very pregnant sister has much in common with Shelagh Delaney's 1958 similarly tender A Taste of Honey.
Themes of loyalty, love and desperate longing — intertwined with sadomasochistic behaviors — just keep trickling across the divide of centuries, and in much the same gritty, earthy theatrical style depicted in filthy furniture (set by John Pleshette) that represents poverty, and not just the poverty of financial resources.
Pleshette directs a fine production that gets to the heart of the matter, even if some of the North Country dialects drift a wee bit southwest into, say, Alabama.
Hunt serves up a dynamic performance as Stitch, laced with twitches and subtle mannerisms. Badie's Liz has a similar richness and authenticity. James Donovan plays Mark, Liz's partner and the father of her child, with a blend of the requisite gruffness required by a guy trying to scrape out a living in Hull, masking a softheartedness that would get him cast out to sea if more people knew about it.
Stitch becomes obsessed with a callow aquarium attendant named Dave, played by Johnny Giacalone with an arrogant brutishness that's a pleasingly hard-hearted antidote to the eccentric humanity that shows up in the room.
In her pregnancy, Liz has become almost addicted to a popular British snack called Battenberg cake.
"Ah," remarks Stitch drolly, watching her open the wrapper and melt into paroxysms of delight at the first bite: "Sponge. Jam. Marzipan. All the major food groups."
What keeps audiences watching new plays may not be new forms at all, but merely the references that provide the necessary inclusion.
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ME, AS A PENGUIN | By TOM WELLS | LOST STUDIO, 130 S. La Brea Ave., L.A. | Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun., 4 p.m. | Through March 6 | (323) 960-7721