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
Man: Well, it's not that dirty.
Woman: I can't stand all those big leaves floating around in it.
Man: Why don't you do it then?
Woman: I can't. I'm going to the airport again.
Man: Well, I have to work. (long pause) Aren't you getting bored with Marvin and his silly passion for skydiving?
Woman: Sure I'm bored, but I don't want him to go by himself.
Man: There's always a victim.
Woman: I'm not going to say any more about it.
Man: Yeah, those topics.
Woman: It's going to work out, just wait and see.
Man: I think we should get out of here for a while.
Woman: Oh! Yes. Yes. I want to take the Concorde.
Man: You know, I hear it's really a very small plane.
Woman: At least you don't age quite so fast at those speeds.
After each scene, a new vertical strip of color appears on the hospital curtain — in physics, "spectral analysis" refers to the physical properties that can be discerned from differing wavelengths of light. In the play, the Woman, a real estate agent, refers to the files she keeps in order to keep business orderly. Something is being filed, as life slides by. I should mention there's a second woman (Theresa Gumprecht) who makes a brief appearance, slouching on the couch, before exiting.
Call it local existentialism, tautly performed and staged, directed by Leavitt and Rob Sullivan. So much has changed since this play's 1977 premiere — in technology, in the way we think, and think of ourselves, our place in the world — and yet the play nonetheless strikes eternal verities that we've almost stopped dwelling upon, in our haste to read our next email or tweet.
After the performance, I strolled into the Geffen gallery down the hall, facing down paintings by Joan Miro and Roy Lichtenstein and Mark Rothko. And I felt as though I'd just taken a 70-year walk around the block.
SPECTRAL ANALYSIS | By William Leavitt | Museum of Contemporary Art | 250 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn. | Closed