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Women: Theatre Review

Women - Applause from Suzanne Birrell

Jacquie Walter (Amy), Erika Rankin (Meg), Lauren Flans (Jo), Brigitte Valdez (Beth)  Photographer: Adam Carver

Click: HERE  and get your tickets now. Only two more shows in this extended run of Women playing their last two shows Thursday and Friday, November 13 and 14. If you haven't seen it, you're missing out on a show that's already attracted a cult following. Last night's Thursday performance was sold out and many, if not most, of the audience had seen the show before. Laughter erupted from the moment the lights went up.

What's the hype? Twitter #bethdies to see what fans are saying. "Hilarious"  "Clever." "Hysterically funny." "Little Women in the vein of girls." "Amazing."

"Women," written by Chiara Atik, is in a class by itself. What can I say?-David Mamet meets Monty Python in this fast moving, highly entertaining farce of an American Classic mashed with HBO's "Girls." The pace is that of a TV multi-camera sitcom though with more laughs. No long theatrical scenes here. Masterfully directed by Stephanie Ward, the transitions through the scenes are exquisitely choreographed. The black box theatre setting is perfect for this play which is sure to become an American classic.

Having read Little Women more than once as a child (my grandmother gave me the book for my 7th birthday), I can assure you that all the performers are absolutely true to character-just a little more so.

Erika Rankin gave an amazing performance as the eldest Meg. Her rapid paced valley girl narratives were coupled with perfect comic timing while her husband, always "Mr. Brooke" -played with -over-the-top seriousness by Joseph Patrick O'Malley - was the perfect straight man. Lauren Flans as effervescent Jo was given a moment-just a moment- of seriousness where we almost felt sorry for her having missed her chance with Laurie- but it was a fleeting moment and we were laughing again. Clayton Farris was so perfect in his farcical interpretation of Laurie that I wanted to jump up and say-"That's really the way he was in the book!" (I think he must have read the book.)  Brigitte Valdez played the rhythmic and  sickly coughing Beth with such a twinkle in her eye that we could only laugh when she died. Jacquie Walters delightfully played the self-absorbed artist Amy who scored the only kiss in this play about men-starved "little women." I didn't realize that JB Waterman played both Mr. Lawrence and Carl until after I re-read the program. Though Tim McGovern was the swing player for Professor Bhaer but I couldn't imagine a finer performance.

The sound design by Robert Dowling contributed to the farce- especially [H1]  the music used for the Quadrille-though I thought the pre-show music was too loud. The stage manager Zulivet Diaz should be congratulated for perfectly executing such a fast moving production with a fluid flow of props and costumes going in and out of three doors.

If you don't see Women this time around, put it on your Bucket List, it's an event you don't want to miss. 

The Asylum
6320 Santa Monica Blvd
(Santa Monica & Lilian Way)
Los Angeles, CA

General seating. Tickets $15

 Run time is one hour. No intermission. 


Jacquie Walter (Amy), Erika Rankin (Meg), Lauren Flans (Jo), Brigitte Valdez (Beth) 

Photographer: Adam Carver 

Posted By Suzanne Birrell on November 07, 2014 01:50 pm | Permalink