Reviewed by Michael Edwards

Nick Ullett is a joy to take in on the stage in Rogue Machine's production of The Birthday Party - A Theatrical Catastrophe. The production is a rich hour of classic by the fireside storytelling made all the better by its first hand rendering.  

Mr. Ullett is a legendary Hollywood journeyman with countless credits, rising from his birth and education in the UK at Cambridge to his long list of major TV Guest Star roles, to NYC for Broadway to appearances in theater productions throughout Los Angeles. Case in point, his time at the fabled Geffen Theatre is what is being explored here in "Birthday Party." Mr. Ullett covers his experience with an infamous 2010's production of the Harold Pinter Play, "The Birthday Party", directed by William Friedkin. For approximately 60 minutes, Nick Ullett takes us on a surprisingly intense but remarkably funny ride via 'Murphy's law' through the step by step rehearsal days of the Geffen's 'ill fated production'.

The production is wonderfully spartan and refreshing. House lights from start to finish. The actor is waiting for the audience when the house opens, greeting and saying hello while we sit. There are no sound cues, no smoke machines. A stage manager comes out and mumbles something to Mr. Ullett; he clears his throat and the play begins. By play's end the audience we, the audience are reduced to that childhood place where we've just been told an amazing story but you don't want the storyteller to leave. A charming night of sharing.

The Birthday Party: A Theatrical Catastrophe  runs at 8pm Mondays, Fridays; 5pm Saturdays, Sundays through April 8, 2024 (no performances on Monday, March 4 and 29). Rogue Machine is located in the Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046. Tickets are $35 (Seniors $30 / Students $20). Show4Less: Mar 8 ($10+), Mar 15 ($15+), Mar 22, 30 ($20+). Reservations: or for more information855-585-5185. 

Posted By DH Magazine on March 22, 2024 05:06 pm | Permalink