WALKING IN SPACE - World Premiere at Theatre West

Reviewed by Amalisha HuEck 

Theatre West presents an intriguing truth of addiction and its effects in the World Premiere of Walking in Space by Garry Michael Kluger. Through resourceful true story of a single-family home where the mother Francine (Kathie Barnes) and her youngest daughter Lori (Liv Denevi) who is only in high school and still living at home, shows the tragedy when a kid has to skip the classes in order to take care of her mother. The other three children, two over age 21, and one under, come together to help Lori end their mother's persistent compulsive use of drugs by getting her into an institution, where she will be helped. The narrative expression of saving their mother is colored by humor and true love for each other.  

Upon opening Francine stoned from drugs is doing her nightly ritual, staggering through the house (walking in space) and hurting herself by crashing to the floor. Set in Baltimore, Maryland in 1972, the play shows how drug addiction hurts all it touches. But it could be beaten by faith, love, support and most importantly, professional help. Leo Tolstoy once said that all happy families are alike - but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Sometimes they are both.

Theatre West was established in 1962 and is celebrating its 61st season as the oldest continually running professional theatre in Los Angeles. It is a membership collective of actors, playwrights, directors and technicians. This five-week run of Walking in Space is masterfully directed by Arden Teresa Lewis, with the fabulous cast of Kathie Barnes (Francine Silberman), Liv Denevi (Lori Silberman), Mary Elisabeth Somers (Patricia Silverman), Cecil Jennings (Kirby Silberman), David Mingrino (Dr. Jerome Collar) and Andrew Cereghino (Keith Schwartz).

Produced by Meg Lin in association with theatre west, the assistant director is Amelia Vargas. The creative team features scenic designer Ernest McDaniel, lighting designer Malcolm Wilson, with the stage manager Dillon Mount. In addition to directing, Lewis creates the costumes. Walking in Space is supported by the L.A. County Department of Arts and Culture as part of Creative Recovery L.A., an initiative funded by the American Rescue Plan. 

The production runs through October 8, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The performance on Friday, Sept. 29 will be ASL interpreted, and the performance on Sunday, Oct. 1 will be sensory-friendly. Tickets are $35 with online advance purchase, or $40 at the door, with $30 tickets available to students, veterans and members of the military. Walking in Space features adult content and is recommended for mature audiences ages 14 and up.

Theatre West is located at 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West in Los Angeles, CA 90068 (across the street from Universal City Walk, between Barham and Lankershim); metered street parking available, and there is a paid lot ($10 cash only) across the street from the theater.

For reservations and information, call (323) 851-7977 or go to TheatreWest.org.

Posted By DH Magazine on September 14, 2023 03:42 pm | Permalink