A review by Suzanne Birrell.
Stefan Marks, Samantha Smart, Rachel Parker. All Photograph's by Bryan Wiggle
Space, written and directed by Stefan Marks, opened to an appreciative crowd at the Stella Adler Theatre this past weekend. The plays stars Stefan Marks as Kurt Finge, a person on the fringe of insanity who has been released from a mental institution. His delivery is fast paced and the words are witty. Sometimes the laughter was noticeably moments behind the quip. Samantha Smart plays the part of Ann who is a hospital appointed "facilitator" who is assigned to help Kurt adjust to life in the real world after 30 years of being in a mental institution. Of issue to Kurt is his relationship with his mother played by Rachel Parker who has issues of her own. Rounding out the cast is Michael Matthys as Dad.
Rachel Parker & Michael Matthys
This first act is witty and entertaining although things don't seem to add up. One wonders if Kurt Finge is ready to be let loose on society and everyone around him seems every bit as crazy as he his. The laughter is abundant as Kurt's observations make absolute sense while sounding absolutely crazy. We are also privy to a few songs and a dance routine (Kurt's ambition is to make a black and white Musical) as well as a hysterical stand-alone cartoon:Cutting the Cord. After intermission the comedy gives way to the darkness, the story line becomes deadly serious and the story twists to its surprising conclusion.
I like a story that twists but it's incredibly difficult to write a review without giving it all away. The performances are stellar. It's an actors play in that there are several wonderful monologues. Writer-director-actor Stefan Marks gives us a good solid story that engages to the final twisted ending. Space provides a satisfying evening of theatre.
One thing did bother me-the title, Space. It simply did not do the play justice. The play was about relationships and time, expectations and lies, truth vs reality, sanity vs insanity- a really wonderful play and it needs a different title. But try to think of one after you see it. If a talk back was hosted about what the title should be, we'd all still be there. After three days of thinking about it, I have my ideas, but I'll let you decide for yourself.
Space runs through August 20, 2016
At the Stella Adler Theatre
6773 Hollywood Boulevard.
Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm