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November 3, 2017:

Bash reviewed by Rob Stevens

basha

Bash: latterday plays are three one-act plays written by Neil LaBute and first performed in 1999. The plays, heavily influenced by classic Greek Tragedy, feature characters from different backgrounds of the Mormon religious tradition. Due to the defamatory nature of the plays, LaBute received religious discipline (disfellowshipment) and left the church. 3 Seat Productions staged the plays at the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre in North Hollywood for two weekends in October. It was a harrowing experience that featured some brilliant writing and stellar acting. The capacity audience sat in hushed silence as a quartet of actors delivered their stories that explored the complexity of evil in everyday life. The first, “Iphigenia In Orem”, was the most difficult to hear as a young father (the spellbinding Nick Molari) recounts how he smothered his baby daughter under the covers of his bed in the hopes the ensuing sympathy the death would create would save his job. The fact that his imminent job loss was a practical joke by a friend does not salve his soul. In “A Gaggle of Saints,” a young couple, John (the charming yet dangerous Adam Cropper) and the chipper but ever more disillusioned Sue (Marisa Persson), recount their weekend in New York. They came down to the city to spend time with friends and attend an event at the Plaza Hotel. Drunk, a group of the young men walk through Central Park while their girls are refreshing in their rooms. A very violent and bloody gay bashing is the memory they will always have of their weekend at the Plaza. “Medea Redux” takes place in a police interrogation room as a woman (Rhonda Karson) recounts her underage affair with a college professor, raising her young son alone and the eventual drowning of her son in a bathtub rather than permit the father and son to reunite. It’s a deadpan delivery of a monologue that needed more variation. The first two acts were mesmerizing, the performances well-polished by the cast and director Karson. As for her own performance, Karson seemed to need another eye to sharpen its focus.

3stars

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