Hello Stranger - Theatre Review

By Joan Alperin

"Hello Stranger" written by Sharon Yablon and directed by Sarah Figoten Wilson is one of the most original, engrossing plays I've seen in a long time.

When the play opens we meet Mike (the outstanding Trevor H. Olsen) a man who has returned to his hometown of Fontana, California in the Inland Empire for his 30th high school reunion. One he did not enjoy. Mike can't wait to get back to Los Angeles where he now resides. Only problem is, he's just totaled his car and with no way to leave, Mike winds up wandering around the familiar locations of his childhood.

Along the way he encounters several mysterious people that set him on a journey through his past, dreams and memories against the back drop of the Day of the Dead festival leading him to uncover dark secrets about the town, his own childhood and his deceased mother.

Mike first meets a young girl named Audrey (Aliyah Conley) who is sitting on a swing in the backyard of the childhood house. His conversation with her is cut short when her mother, Carla (Reamy Hall) comes running outside yelling at him to leave. Of course, he doesn't. Instead they talk and realize they have a great deal in common.

Soon other strange characters appear to Mike...his dead mother, Mandy (Elinor Gunn), a very funny, an animated Hispanic man named Jesus (the fantastic Alexis DeLaRosa) a man named Carpy (the excellent Christopher Neiman) and Audrey (Maren O'Sullivan), who seems to be covering up a tragedy that has affected Mike his whole life.

This one act play is not one to miss. Everything about it, the writing, the acting, the story is just perfect and I personally did not want Mike's journey to end.

"Hello Stranger" plays through November 18 at Theatre of Note.

Listen to behind-the-scenes interviews below:

Posted By Joan Alperin on October 23, 2017 11:01 am | Permalink