An intriguing premise, especially in this era of misinformation and not quite "all the facts" needed to at least attempt to get to the truth, The Lifespan of a Fact, under Simon Levy's fine direction is an entertaining and thought provoking 90 minutes for this West Coast premiere.
Interestingly, the play apparently based on a true story, at times seems hard to believe. Cross country plane trips made by both the editor and her erstwhile new intern seem excessive. However, in times past, when magazines weren't struggling for their own survival such trips were occasionally necessary.
Nowhere do I recall hearing the term "editorial license" used to justify an exaggeration or a supposition of the truth in a story. The plot revolves around an "essay" and not an article or a journalistic report-something that the "cantankerous" writer who apparently has to be handled gently to keep his name and his article in the magazine stresses.
Ron Bottitta as John D'Agata delivers the writer with all his passionate justifications. The scenes between him and Jonah Robinson as Jim Fingal, who plays the possibly idealistic and, in the end, spot on Z generation's critique of what it means to stick to the facts in the 21st century when facts can be verified with little more than a computer and keyboard.
While her attempts to keep the peace and keep the publisher happy, aren't really a match for the two sparring partners Fingal and D'Agata, Inger Tudor as the magazine's editor Penrose does manage to hold her own in a somewhat thankless role.
The set design by Joel Daavid works perfectly as the editor's Manhattan office and the writer's Las Vegas digs using the video screens designed by Nicolas Santiago to change the scene. Kudos to The Fountain for an excellent investment in this technology.
Not a play where all's well ends well, the audience is left to question the premise and, even the plausibility of the play. Still, the usual fine Fountain Theatre ensemble performance and fast moving script by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell makes for an enjoyable play that gets the thought processes going.
The Lifespan of a Fact
runs through April 2
, with performances on
(dark Monday March 13).
Pay-What-You-Want seating subject to availability every Monday night in addition to regular seating.
The Fountain Theatre is located at
5060 Fountain Avenue (at Normandie) in Los Angeles. Secure, on-site parking is available for
$5. Patrons are invited to relax before and after the show at the Fountain's indoor/outdoor café.
For reservations and information, call (323) 663-1525 or go to www.FountainTheatre.com.