Tuesday, November 26, 2019

SALVAGE at The Lounge

There's something to be said for Tim Alderson who, after fifteen years of fermentation,  rounded up some pals and put on a show. By his own admission, he is not a playwright. However, there's the bones of something happening here.
In my recollection, it may have been Hoyt Axton at The Troubadour  who went through a pint  of Southern Comfort while on stage. And, for sure, Janis Joplin was known for her love of that sweet spirit.  It's powerful stuff. When Preacher (David Atkinson) enters from the john, unplugs the juke box where Floyd Whitaker's "Rise from the Ruins" may have been played a hundred times or more in Johnson's dusty bar, he returns to his table where his custom Martin D-45 accompanies a mostly empty bottle of Southern Comfort.  Having watched Hoyt deal with a pint, I wondered how the man managed to stay vertical.  
Leonard Earl Howze, Christopher Fordinal, David Atkinson

There's a beauty of an old Epiphone hanging on the wall.  It may have belonged to the legendary Floyd Whittiaker?  Salvage is a dive bar where Mr. Johnson (over the top Leonard Earl Howze) grumbles in the otherwise empty joint.  Preacher's opening song "I'm So Tired of It All" won't be hitting the charts any time soon, but it is heartfelt, even if shy a notch or two from Kris Kristofferson. 

À la recherche du temps perdu, to coin a phrase, unfolds.  In search of lost times. The past.

The dust and memories of Preacher are brightly interrupted when a kid with a chipboard guitar case, Harley (Christopher Fordinale), literally bursts through the door and asks in a louder voice than either Johnson or Preacher are prepared to handle, "Is this the bar where Floyd Whittaker killed himself!?"   

Thus unfolds a tale of tragedy and hope.  Uninvited, Harley, pulls his more basic Martin out of its modest case and makes an effort to jam with the crusty old Preacher's walkin' blues  lament.  He fails. 

Undaunted, Harley manages to open to the older man and reluctantly, stories begin.  

Harley's wife, Destiny (Nina Herzog)
Christopher Fordinal, Nina Herzog Photos By Ed Krieger
shows up and learns that Harley is on his way to the pawn shop to hock his Martin (that took him three years to save up to buy) in order to be a responsible father.  Depending on your vocabulary, one might mistake Fate for Destiny.  Without making  a big deal out of it, we see that Destiny refers to following one's own pathway while Fate is more simply just what happens. Destiny, Harley's wife, is more than just a gal with whom Harley has chosen to make a life. Destiny is a sign post, the mother of their expected child soon to arrive. The turn of events discloses how the lives of Johnson, Preacher and Harley and Destiny all come together at the crossroads of the Salvage Bar. 

Preacher talks about 'redemption'.. a nickel for an empty Lone Star bottle and maybe the redemption of a soul, though the ending of this play still leaves some questions.  

Imperfect in a perfect way, I'd have moved the action of the entire show back up stage about eight feet.  Sight lines.  Fine performances deserve an audience.  This is a world premiere worth sitting in on. 

SALVAGE by Tim Alderson
A World Premiere
Directed by Damian D. Lewis
The Lounge Theatre 
6201 Santa Monica Blvd 
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Opened Saturday, November 16, 2019
Runs 8pm Fridays & Saturdays
3pm on Sundays 
Closing:December 15, 2019
Tickets and Information:

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