July 10, 2014

THEATRE THAT THROBS WITH LIFE -- with Lee Hartgrave Tonight


With the play, Yasmina Reza returns to Albee territory. Two couples spend an evening together & in vino veritas truths begin to emerge. Oh, what unflinching fun. 

The play consists of three scenes in which the same events are revisited. It is a very unique stage show. And Wow...it's a crazy and joyous good time. Hey, isn't it time for it to hit Broadway? 

Although the characters remain resolutely the same -- the results are extremely different. It's domestic drama & profound riff on the meaning of life. 

In the first scene a professional couple are retiring for the evening and having trouble with their  bratty boy to settle down. The couple disagrees on how to solve the problem. They both show signs of weakness. Along comes the ringing of the door bell. It is the husband's boss and his wife arriving a day early for a careering boosting dinner party. Well...mostly munchies. 

The second scene is a rehash of the first, with more ugly truths emerging. In the third scene we are spared the preamble & things do get a little better - but there is no happy ending. 

You want meaning of life? Well this domestic drama is "Profound Riff!" - on the meaning of life. 

Between scenes we enjoy some lovely lighting effects (brilliant, lab created diamonds). The acting is uniformly excellent. They certainly know how to bring out every nuance of the clever strongly written dialog. Oh, and they did do a lot of drinking whiskey. But - they still looked like they were standing and yelling at each other. And there is the guest Hubert. Henry is not too keen on Boss Hubert - but he likes Henry's wife. 

 RATING: Six Stars****** or - you could swig down some tasty drinks with these Stars: ******

HERE IS THE FANTASTIC CAST: Aren Haun (Henry) - Sylvia Burboeck (Sonia) - Peter Fitzsimmons (Hubert) - and Sylvia Kratins (Inez) 

LIFE X 3  - By Yasmina Reza. (Translated by Christopher J. Hampton, CBE, FRSL) 

(The play takes place at Henry and Sonia's home in Paris France.) 

Runs June 27th - July 19th - Thurs/Fri/Sat @ 8:00pm. Sunday Matinees 3pm @ the Phonix Theatre, 414 Mason Street, SF. For Tix - 800-838-3006, or visit www.offbroadwaywest.org. 

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook Section and he also reviewed many outstanding shows (7 Years) - and continued with PBS KQED)))


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