Reviewed by Amalisha HuEck
What an amazing production with an outstanding cast, greatly written and directed play where the different sides and views are explored to a maximum perfection. The sad thing is - just a very few people in the audience. What a miss!
Outrage, the play in two acts at the Beverly Hills Playhouse starts with the outrage which sneaks throughout the acts like a snake. From chirping and beeping of the defective smoke alarm to the political, social and personal disagreements which led the friendships to be broken and families to stop talking to each other with their opinions angrily expressed or not expressed at all, due to possibility of losing their place in the society. And it shows clearly, if one doesn't make a statement, there are consequences.
Ethan (Peter O'Connor) runs a prestigious school for writers and actors, where the storytelling is the starting point and students speak their minds by expressing their opinions about everything that is going on around us today. In a free country everyone is allowed to have their views and opinions; therefore, disagreements on actual events are conveyed through everyone's eyes. Some are very passionate about their perspective, to the point where only their personal views are the correct ones.
Allen Barton (the playwright) gives an opportunity to everyone to express his/her opinion with full enthusiasm, passion and rage. There are many angry voices throughout the play. Students request that Ethan expresses his aspect on the current situation, but he stays quiet. The outcome is 'outrage', as Ethan's theatre school gets burned down by the furiously exasperated students. Even more, as he loses his job and his friends on that fiery night, he is also ridiculed on social media, becomes an outcast and no longer a part of the community. And furthermore, he is accused of being a racist as one of his students, Bryan (Evan Michael Ewing) admits that he contributed his signature to the accusation of racism letter, without even reading it.
The statement from the playwright/director Allen Barton comes fully in play here, 'You ever wonder what we've actually become? What we're doing to ourselves?'
He also states, 'Many thanks to my talented cast, who signed on to this project without reservation, and who investigated it and brought to life with consistent enthusiasm and energy.' It truly is a memorable, exceptionally powerful team work. Everyone's full range of acting ability is greatly revealed in words, gestures and actions.
The brilliant cast members are: Ethan (Peter O'Connor), Lori (L.T.) (Cameron Meyer), Elaine (Terri Parks), Phillip/Doug (Hope Brown), Jeremy (Derrick V
), Jamie Whitney Nielsen), Emily (Sara Ball), Tom (Kirk Fogg), Bryan (Evan Michael Ewing), Murray (Peter Zizzo) and Juan (Sam Sebai), with the understudies Freya Adams, Nancy E.Paley, and Nicole Varona.
Outrage is produced by Crimson Square Theatre Company in association with Beverly Hills Playhouse. Erich Fromm nicely wraps up this production with the statement, "There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as 'moral indignation,' which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue."
PRODUCTION TEAM: Writer & Director - Allen Barton, Executive Producer - Mia Christou, Producer - Karla Kamm, Associate Producer & Front of House Management - Caprice Ott, Mentor Stage Manager - Jeffrey Sun, Stage Manager - Miles Cooper, Lighting Design - Derrick McDaniel, Set Design - Mia Christou, Sound Designer - Christopher Moscatiello
, Assistant to Director - Arzu Auzzy, Publicity by Sandra Kuker PR, and Photography by Maria Proios.
Tickets can be purchased at the Beverly Hills Playhouse - 254 South Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA., 90211. The play runs from October 20 - November 19, 2023. Performances are Friday and Saturday 8:00pm and Sunday 7:00pm.