The Mistakes Madeline Made

Ensconced in a basement office at the home of an affluent Manhattan hedge fund manager, his neurotic wife and spoiled child, Edna (Kiki Lambden) is one of 15 assistants for the obsessively orderly household. (The family has its own policy-and-procedures manual.) That she works in such a dungeonlike atmosphere is fitting, since she is punishing herself over a personal tragedy. Despite this bleak backdrop, playwright Elizabeth Meriwether's one-act is a hilariously uplifting study of forgiveness, redemption and showering. Edna's boss/warden is Beth (director Kimberly Yates), who controls her minions with a criminal perkiness and on whom Edna fixates her rage. In flashbacks we meet Edna's brother, Buddy (Armand DesHarnais), a reporter whose gruesome experiences covering an unnamed war-ravaged country have led to his crack-up, manifested in a fear of bathing. Ironically seeking refuge in Edna's bathtub, Buddy rails on a country and its people, Edna included, who are responsible for the horrors he's witnessed. In response to her own trauma, Edna mirrors her brother's ailment and appends it with desperate yet comical dalliances with three disparate writers (all portrayed winningly by John Paul Karliak). But can another psychologically damaged co-worker (Troy Blendell), whose copy-machine mimicry and awkward attempts to endure Edna's increasingly noxious aroma grate on Edna, perhaps aid in her healing? Yates' staging and cast are ideal and an added plus to an engaging tale. Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m., thru June 4. (323) 960-1054, plays411.com/mistakesmadelinemade.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: May 19. Continues through June 4, 2011


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