The Voysey Inheritance

The Voysey Inheritance

David Mamet’s streamlined adaptation of Harley Granville-Barker’s 1905 drama succeeds on many levels. Granville-Barker’s play about an Edwardian family dealing with the explosion of a Ponzi scheme retains its dramatic impact. Mamet’s compressed adaptation of the four-hour original adds dramatic thrust. Moreover, the play resonates due to contemporary misdeeds on Wall Street. In the drama, the Voysey family lives in Edwardian splendor as a result of the outwardly successful investment firm managed by father (Patrick John Hurley) and son Edward (Alec Beard). When Edward uncovers financial fraud, he confronts his father, who freely admits deceitful practices. After Voysey senior dies, Voysey junior fights valiantly to keep the firm afloat — it’s either that or a prison sentence. The drama climaxes when a chief client (David Hunt Stafford) wants to liquidate his investments. Many of the play’s lighter moments are provided by Edward’s blustering brother, Major Booth (Jon Woodward Kirby). As Edward’s stalwart fiancée Alice, Debbie Jaffe stands out among the players. Avoiding any Edwardian stuffiness, Bruce Gray confidently directs the large cast of Voysey family members and retainers, creating a strong sense of ensemble work. Suzanne Scott’s lovely period costumes are complemented by Jeff G. Rack’s luxurious set design. Theatre 40 at the Reuben Cordova Theater, 241 Moreno Drive (on the Beverly Hills High School campus), Beverly Hills; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; through July 19. (310) 364-0535.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: June 24. Continues through July 19, 2009