Photo by Jenny Graham
"Three Tables" written and directed by Murray Mednick produced with The Padua Playwrights presents a World Premiere.
The opportunity to see something brand new with the playwright directing his own work... especially in this time of our lives... we are presented with philosophy, a bit of science and difficult questions.. This opportunity is more than just sitting in an audience as a viewer. It's an opportunity to tune in to ideas presented in what I sometimes call a 'left handed way' ... odd syncopation with very odd characters who, evidently have the author's voice: A bit of Jewish guilt and angst? And, possibly a prophecy for today turning on what Brown Shirts did in Germany prior to WWII.
Are our lives just existential bull shit? Do we have purpose? Does gravity suck? Black Holes?
From The Coyote Cycle in the seventies, Avant Garde Theatre in the Los Angeles area has been kept afloat by the spirit of Padua.
The Zephyr is a funky little space on Melrose. That little alley still holds the anticipation of being slightly shoehorned into art.
Jack Grapes' "Circle of Will" went up there long ago and set a tone, for me.. for how to sit literally practically in the lap of the action. "THREE TABLES" challenges the audience in what might be a similar way with participation by three distinct elements of commentary. We eaves drop on three generations of locals, each with ideas about the state of the nation and the world.
Our attention is drawn from pillar to post with action directed through precision lighting by Azra King Abadi & John Zalewski's music and sound each becoming additional players in the piece.
Waiters Joe (John Fantasia) and Sol (Richard Sabine), old Jews, deliver their take on the lessons from history and what's to come. A knock on the door?
Christen (Laura Liguori), Rodger (Michael Uribes) and Mike (Corey Rieger), actors a local play? Bicker at one table while Margie (Raquel Cain), Don (Dennis Renard) and Casey (Eric Stanton Betts) hold forth arriving at another table as the dance plays on.. Whether the late comers are versions of Chris, Rodger and Mike comes into question. Mednick's precise direction leaves no opportunity for a missed cue. Style reminds vaguely of Beckett's "Play". Some may disagree.
This is not theatre for the timid. Mostly words. Little action. Thinking caps in place. Historical knowledge: past and present will help. The audience has a lot of work to do.
The essential theme of this short but pithy piece turns on what might be described as Beckett meets David Lynch (especially the ominous sound.) With questions about the moment between thought and action, "Three Tables" may be, to quote Mednick, "an existential meditation on the advent of tyranny."
Written and directed by Murray Mednick
7456 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Opened April 23, 2022
Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM
Sundays at 3PM
Through May 22, 2022
Tickets and information:
• General Admission: $25
• Preview: $20
Parking may be a challenge. Arrive early & read street signs!