Diana Son’s 1998 play about two women who are brutally attacked when they’re caught kissing in the early morning in New York’s West Village marks the Pasadena Playhouse directorial debut of the theater’s associate artistic director, Seema Sueko. While the play profits little from being staged in the cavernous space, Sueko has created an affecting production, largely due to Angela Lin’s standout performance as Callie, a disaffected traffic reporter who falls in love with Sara (Sharon Leal). Both actresses are still finding their footing in the early scenes, and display some overly mannered awkwardness, but over the next 90 minutes we witness the subtle shifts that move them from friendship to indisputable attraction. Lin plumbs even throwaway lines for meaning, revealing new shades of subtext and humor. She also is gifted at making the abrupt shifts between hilarity and tragedy, necessitated by the play’s structure, feel seamless and authentic. Despite Leal’s sometimes stagey performance, we’re still never quite sure where Sara’s feelings stand — an odd omission for a character who prides herself on her forthrightness. The rest of the ensemble is mostly fine, with John Sloan especially good as Callie’s friend-with-benefits George, but it’s Lin who makes the character, and the production, her own.

Wednesdays, Fridays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 26. Continues through Nov. 30, 2014
(Expired: 11/30/14)

LA Weekly