Stage Raw: Bleeding Through

Stage Raw: Bleeding Through
Stage Raw: Bleeding Through

Photo by Theresa Chavez

Adapted from Norman Klein's novella of the same

title, this world premiere, co-written and co-directed by Theresa

Chavez and Rose Portillo, explores historical Angelino Heights (not

coincidentally the location of the theatre) and the ghosts of its

glamorous past.  The Unreliable Narrator (David Freuchting) introduces

us to the world of the play, as it moves fluidly between the past and

present. He speaks with Ezra (Ed Ramolete) and Molly (Lynn Milgrim),

now two elderly residents of the neighborhood, as he researches a

potential murder.  Through their memories we learn of a younger Molly

(Elizabeth Rainey) who came from Indiana and worked in men's clothing,

which naturally brought her into contact with a number of men,

including husbands Jack (Brian Joseph) and Walt (Pete Pano), as well as

Jack's father and longtime customer Harry (James Terry).  Chavez and

Portillo's expansive "surround" set, designed by Akeime Mitterlehner,

offers a unique staging that, along with the accompaniment of live

musicians Scott Collins and Vinny Golia, immerses the audience in the

noir world. Francois-Pierre Couture's angular lighting, Pamela Shaw's

wonderfully detailed costumes, Claudio Rocha's well-integrated

videography, and Diane Arellano's installation of historical artifacts,

which the audience is allowed to explore at intermission, all enhance

the ambience as well.  Rainey and Milgrim play their double roles with

aplomb, but the main drawback to the piece is the lack of dramatic

momentum in the writing, making older Molly's line, "at some point, a

place becomes more important than a person," ring all the more true. 

Shakespeare Festival/LA, 1238 W. First St., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.;

Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Nov. 22.  (800) 595-4849.  About Productions.

(Mayank Keshaviah)

For other NEW REVIEWS seen over the weekend, press the Continue Reading tab directly below.

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