Frank Tangredi’s tale of a sculptor named Merle (Lorianne Hill) seeking a muse who’s “dead inside” builds into a rich and complex study of stereotyping, guilt and grudges. Her model, gravel-faced Kate (Adrian Lee), has been in a punishing marriage to Al (Ron Quigley) for 35 years. Immediately sure that loutish Al’s to blame for Kate’s sullen misery, Merle and her pushover boyfriend, Adam (Ross Kramer), attempt to enrich the elderly woman’s world with art books and museums, and then they blame her husband for her apathy. But this isn’t a simple case of patriarchal oppression; like most marriages, there’s scars on both spouses — many of them self-inflicted. And as Al ingratiates himself to these spiritual do-gooders, these old wounds are doused with fresh vinegar. The play runs long and is crammed with truncated scenes, but Tangredi’s gift for depth and resonance, plus a strong ensemble, pulls the audience along past every emotional land mine, including the ones he wisely leaves unresolved. Alex Sol directs. The Space, 665 N. Heliotrope Dr., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru April 14 (added perfs March 25 & April 7, 2 p.m.). (323) 871-1970.—Amy Nicholson

LA Weekly