Reviewed by Michael Edwards
The Fountain Theatre's Last Summer in Bluefish Cove is a beautiful night of well done character driven storytelling. The acting is exquisite and the journey is one your heart will thank you for for a long long time.
Set in a Central California coastal town in 1974, when, at the time according to the story, Bluefish Cove was a hidden in-plain-sight 'secret' summer beach house private retreat for lesbians looking to relax with other lesbians. At the play's opening, the summer of '74 is looking to be as any other, until 'Eva' (a finely nuanced and beautifully alive Lindsay LaVanchy) visits the cove after checking into her beach house. She's recently (and somewhat desperately) abandoned her marriage to TOM (or whatever his name was) and has now randomly chosen Bluefish Cove as her hiding place to heal. She is unaware of where she is as she ventures out to meet her neighbors. What occurs next is a series of unexpected journeys through the hearts of the women Eva encounters at the cove.
Each character in this work is a joy to take in. playwright Jane Chambers's feeling for the heart of each and every woman she has walking on her stage is the main event. You love as each love relationship, agape or eros, unfolds and reveals itself with such truth, heart, kindness and most of all, wit. The ensemble cast is flawless. Special mentions; Anne Sonneville's Lillian is fiery and yet masterfully contained. And Noelle Messier's 'Annie' is at times the gravitational heart center of the piece, consistently offering a constant magnetic glow.
Direction by Hannah Wolf is magical. The storytelling here is grounded and confident. This is 'outdoor theater' with earphones and mics and actors walking seamlessly through the audience as they exit the rear. All of this works beautifully with the sound design by Andrea Allmond smoothly keeping all of these moving parts together while at the same time holding us as though we were truly on the beach. Desma Murphy's set is state of the art and transportive and R.S buck's lighting design seamlessly elevates the storytelling.
Last Summer in Bluefish Cove is a beautiful trip through the heart of a big love.
Performances through Aug. 27, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays at 7pm
Outdoor Stage - The Fountain Theatre 5060 Fountain Ave. Los Angeles CA 90029
Fountain at Normandie
• Valet parking available
• Street parking available in the neighborhood north of Fountain Ave.
• No parking after 6 p.m. on Mariposa or Alexandria Avenues south of Fountain Ave.
• Allow extra time to find street parking; make sure to read all parking signs
(323) 663-1525 or www.FountainTheatre.com