FATHERLAND - Fountain Theatre

Reviewed by Amalisha HuEck

The election is upon us and reflecting on January 6 events gives us an inclination to look at what happened with the families whose harmony and love was disturbed on that day. Based on official court testimony, public statements and case evidence, a theatrically strong play was conceived and directed by Stephen Sachs (one of the founders of the Fountain theatre) who wrote, "This play is not a political diatribe, it's the true personal story of a father and a son and the dangerous propaganda that drove them apart. Every word of it is true. It's a shout of warning in this election year."

Founded in 1990, the Fountain Theatre presents a new work of verbatim theatre with the world premiere of Fatherland, a true story of a typical American family where the most important thing is the relationship and love that flows from the father and son. Everything goes sour, when the 19-year-old son (Patrick Keleher), secretly records the conversation with his father (Ron Bottitta) and takes photos of his guns. After the events at the Capitol, he reports his father to the FBI and presents all the evidence which led to the trial of his dad. The play begins at the hearing with the son in federal court followed by scenes scenes at home with the father and son interacting.

The cast of four, from the potent U.S. Attorney (Anna Khaja) who strongly resembles Kamala Harris (coincidence or intentional) to the father, son, and a defense attorney (Larry Poindexter) is craftily hand-picked by the skillful director. The strong cast provides  high tension of the moments where every word, every sentence lingers in the air..  A strong, strong play!

Produced by Dr. Robert G. Meadow & Carrie Menkel-Meadow, this play is extremely powerful and effective. The outstanding creative team greatly contributes to the actors' availability for dramatic expression. The scenic design by Joel Daavid is simple but effective, sound designer is Stewart Blackwood; lighting designer Alison Brummer; costumes are designed by Danyele Thomas; properties designer is Jenine MacDonald; and graphics designer David Mellen. The production stage manager is Sati Thyme. The technical Director is Scott Tuomey. Barbara Herman is executive producer.

'Now in its 34th year, The Fountain Theatre is one of the most highly regarded theatres in Los Angeles and was honored by the L.A. "achieving a position of leadership in the Los Angeles theater community..."The recent announcement that Stephen Sachs, the theatre's Artistic director will be retiring at year's end, adds weight to the fact that this is a play not to be missed.

Fatherland is performed in 80 minutes with no intermission at the Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave. (at Normandie), Los Angeles, CA 90029. Performances take place February 25 through March 30 with performances thereafter on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

The tickets range from $25-$45 and can be purchased at (323) 663-1525.                                                                                                                      Pay-What-You-Want is every Monday (subject to availability).


Posted By DH Magazine on February 29, 2024 02:51 pm | Permalink