A Review by Harrison Held.
Adam Haas Hunter (l.), Brandon Bales, Kimberly Alexander, Richard Chaves. Behind couch: Mark McClain Wilson. Photo: Bren Coombs
Opening night of the highly anticipated world premiere of The Great Divide by Tony nominee Lyle Kessler (Orphans) was terrific. This thought provoking, funny and moving new play is well executed in the very capable hands of award winning director David Fofi and runs til August 29th at the Elephant Theatre in Hollywood.
(Left)Brandon Bales (l.), Richard Chaves.
Photo: Bren Coombs
The colorful talented cast is great in this testosterone charged dark comedy of brawls and baseball starring Richard Chaves as the pretty warped strong willed and domineering family patriarch known in the play as Old Man; Adam Haas Hunter as his estranged soul searching identity challenged hippy son Colman; and Brandon Bales as his other soul searching identity challenged writer son Dale who he lives with in the humble family home in Fishtown Pennsylvania where a hearty high cholesterol ham and cheese sandwich is the cure for just about everything.
Adam Haas Hunter (l.), Mark McClain Wilson. Photo: Bren Coombs
Rounding out the noted cast are two eccentric siblings - Kimberly Alexander as the slightly off her rocker but lovely Lane and Mark McClain Wilson as her very troubled one armed misfit brother Noah who endured a lifetime of loathing from their mother, even on her deathbed. Wandering travel loving Colman has been summoned home by his brother Dale after the untimely death of their manipulating dad from an apparent heart attack in the family living room after one of his famous ham and cheese sandwiches.
Kimberly Alexander (l.), Brandon Bales, Richard Chaves. Photo: Bren Coombs
Old Man is so manipulating that he fakes his death knowing it's the only way to get Colman to return. Colman is relieved to come home thinking that his father is dead but after he returns to the living things don't go as planned and a lot of dysfunctional family drama unfolds. Adding to the tension and dark humor are aforementioned psycho siblings Lane and Noah hot on Colman's trail after he has mysteriously disappeared from their lives. Colman has a pattern of disappearing - he's good at that.
( Right)Adam Haas Hunter, Brandon Bales.
Photo: Bren Coombs
The part of Lane will also be played by Kate Huffman (Castle) and I look forward to seeing her take on the eccentric character when I go back to see the play again. Kudos to the all female production staff of producers Bren Coombs and Shannon McManus and stage managers Dianna Leanne Wilson and Shannon Simonds.
Sat, Jul 11 - Sat, Aug 29
Thurs, Fri, Sat 8PM
Running time: 90 minutes.
Elephant Stages - Lillian Theatre
6322 Santa Monica Blvd
(Santa Monica & 1076 Lillian Way)
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Ample Street Parking
For more information visit
Brandon Bales, Kate Huffman, Richard Chaves. Photo: Bren Coombs