Reviewed by Amanda Callas

No Place Like Gandersheim is an absolute must see, world premiere play at the Skylight Theatre in Los Feliz.  It's utterly charming, gutsy, laugh out funny, revolutionary, a trailblazing breath of fresh air.   The is a feminist play with a female creative team and all female cast, that travels through time and space with an infectious sense of fun, and eye-catching, imaginative production design.   Playwright Elizabeth Dement is brilliant.   No Place like Gandersheim explores, with humor, heart, and deep insight, how for women throughout history, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose - the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Four actresses superbly play all the roles in No Place Like Gandersheim .  Roz is our main character, played with juicy charm, brazen comedy, and profound honesty by Jamey Hood.   Roz is a thoughtful, funny, rebellious nun in medieval Germany, writing fresh, women-centered plays that she hopes will change the world. I was enchanted by the shenanigans and female relationships in the abbey. Shannon Holt's abbess Berga is prickly, wise, and hilarious, and her performance is a total treasure.  Prim, feisty, pious nun Madlen, unwillingly roped into performing in Roz's play, is unexpectedly infused with something completely endearing and delightful by miracle-working actress Lauren Gaw. 

Then Roz time travels to a plum job as a showrunner at a modern TV network, writing a thoughtful, beloved period show about nuns.   Creative freedom as a woman, hilariously and agonizingly, still eludes her, as internecine power plays, ratings and demos, and the bloody aftermath of Me Too politics threaten her nun show - unless she re writes the nuns younger and sexier.

Standout actress Charrell Mack shines as ambitious TV assistant Kaya, bringing immense depth and impeccable comedic timing and silky nuance to the part.   Shannon Holt, our former abbess, plays the villainous TV network vice president Mallory with so much hilarious verve, delectable cynicism, ballsy intensity and jaw-dropping charisma that the audience cheered and broke into spontaneous applause.    This electrifying character is a breathing example of the tragedy the play explores. Here is an older woman, complicated, fully human, on fire with life, intellect, ambition, power and vulnerability-- exactly the kind of female character we seldom  see represented in popular entertainment and mainstream storytelling.

The performances in No Place Like Gandersheim , and groundbreaking, marvelous direction by Randee Trabitz, are off the charts fantastic.  Skylight Theatre and playwright Elizabeth Dement should be applauded for this bold triumph that asks the big feminist questions - and has a mutinously good time doing it. 

No Place like Gandersheim runs through June 25. 

Running time: 90 minutes; no intermission.

Tickets/Info: or (213) 761-7061 (2pm - 6pm, Wednesday - Saturday)  or (866) 800-4111  (OvationTix, 6am - 6pm).

Street parking or nearby lots and valets.

Skylight Theatre Company 1816 1/2 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

Posted By DH Magazine on May 25, 2023 01:17 pm | Permalink