Rebecca's Gamble

Issues of science, medical ethics and criminal law propel Art Shulman and Robert Begam's provocative courtroom drama. Director Rick Walters has transformed this small venue into a courtroom interior surrounded by audience members, some of whom render a verdict at play's end. The site-specific setting is used to good effect. The accused, Dr. Rebecca Adler (Diane Linder), is charged with murder for her part in the cryonic disposal of her terminally ill patient. Counsel for the defense is Joe Purcell (Randy Vasquez), while the state is represented by Scott Novak (Jerry Weil), with Judge Dale Fox (Henry Holden) presiding. The format follows the procedures of a real court proceeding: Witnesses are called, testimony is given, cross-examination is allowed and a verdict is rendered. There are even a number of emotional outbursts, which are a bit overworked. The compelling thing about this thoughtfully written script is that it explores in detail some topical scientific, ethical and legal subjects that are easily grasped. Cast performances, on balance, are quite good, notwithstanding a few glaring instances of botched lines. Theatrecraft Playhouse, 7445 W. Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; through Sept. 1. (818) 465-3213,
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: July 19. Continues through Sept. 1, 2013

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