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 pair chide each other, they banter over hanging onto an Android phone with last year's tech in order to pounce next year on the newer model. They argue over a movie, one of them infuriating the other because he liked it, the other becoming lunatic-inflamed that each scene was merely a hallucination. And this series of hallucinations is actually the story of their lives and their marriages and children and their sojourns through life on the brink of death.
Their discussions of politics, of culture, of technology, abstracted by their setting in a netherworld maybe five years in the future, is a gentle parody of the way we discuss politics, or culture, or technology. They talk about "the event" — and argue over security measures that followed. One becomes so exasperated with the other that he breaks out in hives. The play is a slightly absurdist, slightly whimsical, deeply ironic and very funny commentary that deflates all we might take to be important, and self-important.
1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Region: Los Feliz
One reveals he's gay. It's not a melodramatic moment at all. The confession is an irritated response to the other character's spew opposing gay marriage. The offender confuses Stonehenge with Stonewall — or pretends to. The play is The Odd Couple with substantive repartee.
The only production flaw is that no couple would argue this loudly in a public place and not be asked to leave, or respond to the annoyance of passers-by. It could easily be set in a private place.
It's so good to see a play unafraid of articulating an argument, because plays now are supposed to be all about subtext. Years to the Day is about its text, about life crises and self-absorption and desperate, comic loneliness. It's a very smart play, an hour and a half of delight.
ANNAPURNA | By Sharr White | Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., W.L.A. | Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. (no perfs May 24-26); through June 9 | (310) 477-2055 | odysseytheatre.com
YEARS TO THE DAY | By Allen Barton | Skylight Theatre at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, 254 S. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills | Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; through May 12 | ktcla.com