August 23, 2011



Kendra Lee Oberhauser 
Only thing missing is a Broom. Photo: Jay Yamada

Ripped right off the Headlines is the new play “Reduction in Force” – written by Ace Playwright Patricia Milton. Milton’s words fantastically drip with Tension and suspense. This play is all about corporate structure and how they scheme to get rid of the “Little People”.  WARNING: BIG BUSINESS MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH.

Gabby (Kendra Lee Oberhauser) is a scheming, obnoxious High up manager in the company. Anything she doesn’t like gets shredded – even if it clearly says on the document “Do not shred.” Let’s just say – “Gabby” is not very generous.  But it is delicious to watch her squirm and manipulate to keep her throne.

Gabby has a new “hire” in mind  - a sexy, good-looking man (John Patrick Moore) who also knows how to manipulate. Gabby wants to get rid of her longtime Executive secretary (Jan Zvaifler). Sparks fly across the room. Gabby pretends that she is having a hard time about which one should be fired. She can’t keep them all. So, is it Sex or the best “Executive?”

I’ve never been so engrossed in a play.  It definitely is an Edge of the Seat evening. This is acting heaven. Not only is the sly humor sensational – this is a riveting and mesmerizing play that is everything that companies have become. “Trample the older employees – and pay new hires, less.” All the banks and Computer makers do it -  (send everything to China) and fire more USA workers.

This is satire of the highest level. Believe me – Gary Graves has directed with great flair, as he takes this Cat and Mouse satire to new heights. It’s diabolical and fun. The ending will throw you for a loop.

By the way – the Berkeley City Club at 2315 Durant is Gorgeous.

Through August 28 at Central Works – Berkeley City Club.  Info:

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) –trademarked- 

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and produced a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))
Courtesy advance - 

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