Tuesday, May 19, 2015

4000 MILES …Los Angeles

A troubled young man who is cycling across America on a search to make sense of his life, takes refuge at his grandmothers apartment in Manhattan.

Leo is a lost soul, unable to make peace with his parents, dumped by his equivocating girlfriend and, worst of all, carrying the weight of the tragic loss of his best friend on the road. At 3 a.m. he rings grandma Vera’s doorbell where he hopes to at least find a nights rest. The dynamic between them and the healing power of a loving spirit permeates this life-enhancing story.

All of the actors are superb. Michelle Rosen as Vera avoids any dear-old-lady cliché to show us a woman who has lived fully but never succumbed to cynicism; Dan Fagan as Leo reveals his restless spirit while showing his desperate inner struggle to embrace life in the face of despair; Alexandra Johnston is poignant as Bec, his emotionally confused girlfriend, and Zoe Kim is frustratingly delightful as Amanda, a pert teasing pick-up.

Plaudits to director Gail Bernardi for the flawless pacing and sensitive interactions. The NYC rent-controlled apt set by Jim Crawford and the costumes by Kathy Dershimer are right on! Produced for the Kentwood players by Susan Goldman Weisbarth. 

Author Amy Herzog deservedly won an Obie Award and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for this play when it premiered at Lincoln Center in 2011.

At Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Ave., L.A., through June. 
Tickets: (310) 645-5156 or www.kentwoodplayers.org.

Photos by Shari Barrett. 

Also reviewed in the June issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY

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