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July 20, 2017:

The Devil’s Wife reviewed by Rob Stevens

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Mariel Nato, Caro Zeller and Alana Dietze (all photos by Ed Krieger)

With his latest work, The Devil’s Wife, playwright Tom Jacobson has created a fun piece of fluff. The 90-minute intermission-free play is receiving its World Premiere at the Skylight Theatre Company in Los Feliz. Three very disparate sisters arrive home from their father’s funeral only to discover they may be rich in land, 33,000 acres, but they are poor in cash and servants. Bonita (Mariel Neto) is the oldest and prettiest and it is decided she should be married off for some quick cash. Their lawyer, Nicolas Mastema (Everette Wallin), offers to marry Bonita while purchasing 11,000 acres of the sisters’ land which would actually stay in the family because of community property laws. Bonita has proudly protected her virginity and does so long after her wedding night to Nicolas’s mounting frustration. Nicolas travels often and gives Bonita free reign of his house except for the basement. Of course that is the place Bonita most wants to see after she discovers it contains that which she most wants in life. When she does, she meets her end.

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Mariel Nato, Everette Wallin, Caro Zeller and Alana Dietze

Nicolas does not mourn long and soon marries Dulce (Alana Dietze) whose sensuality intoxicates and eventually wears out even The Devil AKA Nicolas. But Dulce is insatiable and when she learns she will find her heart’s desire in the basement, she soon meets her end also. So finally Nicolas marries the sister he always wanted, Sofia (Caro Zeller), but even The Devil cannot have what he most wants. In a fight to the finish, Sofia and Nicolas (who claims he is also God) seem evenly matched until one makes a fatal mistake. Who gets what they really want: The Devil or his Wife? Eric Hoff’s assured direction keeps the action moving smoothly and quickly and the cast of four each get their moment to shine and shine they do. Wallin does a masterful job as The Devil and as his elderly servant, playing off all three wives with a wicked sense of humor and carefree abandon.

3stars

Skylight Theatre, 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave. in Los Angeles. Ends Aug. 27. www.skylighttix.com

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