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Yours, Isabel 

Thursday, Feb 16 2012
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What may be intended as the point of Christy Hall's new epistolary play, in its American premiere, is a snapshot of gender attitudes during the four years of the play's action, 1941-45. But that's old news — women expected to marry and have kids, discouraged from entering the workplace until they were needed and then kicked out of the munitions plants, depending on whether the men were around. The play actually ensnares something far more interesting: Trenton, N.J., homebodies Isabel and Nick (Heather Chesley, Rick Marcus) get separated by WWII when he's sent off for army training and service overseas, and the play is the saga of that separation, with flickering connections through the letters they write (and here recite, in addition to playing multiple characters). What may be a factor of the writing, but is certainly pronounced in performance under Marianne Savell's staging on Gary Lee Reed's platform set, is the aching gulf of incomprehension as two children evolve into two adults, so that when they reunite, they barely recognize each other. Lovely, spritely performances have two forceful characters dancing their way into ennui. Actors Co-op at the David Schall Theatre, 1760 N. Gower St., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m.; thru March 11. (323) 462-8460, actorsco-op.org.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 18, 2:30 p.m. Starts: Feb. 3. Continues through March 11, 2012
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Reach the writer at smorris@laweekly.com

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