Monday, August 26, 2013


Open House at the Skylight

When Samuel Beckett’s WAITING FOR GODOT opened in 1956 it was met with  critics mostly scratching their heads and  audience members walking out of the theatre muttering to themselves.  Over time GODOT has become beloved by imaginative directors, actors and audiences alike.  It’s a tough play because of the odd repetitive lines and the fact that no one seems to know  for sure what’s happening.  It’s an actor exercise as well as an exercise in something that challenges our intellect and, of course, nothing happens, but it doesn’t happen really beautifully.

Robert Cichinni (Chuck) Eve Gordon (Martha)
Photo by Ed Krieger


Shem Bitterman’s long one act, OPEN HOUSE, is not really Beckettian, but in some ways may be attempting to be.  Two characters on the stage (Robert Cicchini as Chuck and Eve Gordon as Martha) bring to mind the issues that Beckett’s plays have dealt with for over fifty years.  What is really going on? Who are we really? One thing for sure is that Jeff Mclaughlin’s spare but realistic set design complimented by his imaginative lighting that almost becomes another character in the piece, make a real difference. Christopher Moscatiello’s subtle sound and original music by Roger Bellon buoy the piece, as well.

Steve Zuckerman’s direction only fails toward the end of the ninety minutes with a somewhat predictable turn of events that may have the audience a bit concerned. Otherwise, both Cicchini and Gordon are choreographed to dance a dance that calls for great discipline.  It is an Actor Exercise that is more fun for the actors than for the audience.  Patience is vital for this one, as the opening scenes with Chuck waiting, black out, and waiting and waiting in the spare living room of the home for which he is conducting an Open House goes on and on... and on.  It’s a great exercise for the actors and if the audience can tune in to the energy and frustration of waiting, then the ride may be of interest.  The actors are professional and never miss a beat.  They are in tune with the writing, which is superior. The mystery deepens and the whys and wherefores of the piece may be fodder for deeper discussion.  Black out!

by  Shem Bitterman
Skylight Theatre
1816 ½ N. Vermont
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Fridays and Saturdays @ 8PM Sundays at 2PM and 7PM
Tickets:  702 582 5857 or
$20 to $34.00
OPEN HOUSE   Extended through September 22, 2013

Friends of Skylight Theatre 
SAVE 50% this Labor Day Weekend
use discount code "escrow" at check out
Fri/Sat 8pm, Sun 7pm 
No performance Sun September 1, 2013

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