Timing is everything. This we learn from the handsome bartender, Rex (Kasey Esser), near perfect in his red bikini whom I'll get to in a minute. I've said in the past that my reviews are actually a broad report on my experience of the theatre when I go to see a show. Tonight was a real experience.
I owe a huge apology to ,the playwright / producer / production designer Mr. Charles A. Duncombe and the patient director, Frédérique Michel and the terrific cast of "Beach People." I got lost on the way to the theatre and rolled in just at curtain time. It's embarrassing. I am truly sorry.
That said, The City Garage: announced in Red Neon! at the far end of Bergamot Station in Santa Monica is a gorgeous jewel box with a comfortable seating arrangement, just the right size for this World Premiere Experience. Apologies to the audience for my awkwardly bumbling in and losing the contents of the Press Kit all over the place.
But! What about "Beach People?" Take about a pound of Pirandello and a pinch of Beckett, add zest of Zen and.. and.. then start the discussion with what turns out to be the second act. Blend , hot Existential Angst.. shake well.. add more angst and try to figure out what Rex, the bartender, is doing as he stacks Jenga blocks on his bar.
We meet the apparently married couple: Anna (Angela Beyer) and Paul (Henry Thompson), lounging on the beach. It is a hot summer day on Duncombe's beautiful set.
Whoa!! Anna is spoiling for a fight!
Toss in a gorgeous teeny weeny string bikini filled to perfection by Diana (Naomi Helen Weissberg) and beneath a sky filled with beautiful scudding clouds, we have Lift Off.
Let the playwright's philosophy filter its way into the mix as he evidently becomes his own shrink. That said, the challenge now comes to director, Frédérique Michel, who has taken what is essentially a talky roundabout discussion of "what's it all about anyway?" and keeps it moving as we meet the text head on, thanks especially to an alliterative diatribe perfectly slammed by Angela! Masterful.
Billed as a farce, be ready to define and defend your own
essential philosophy of life while either nodding in agreement or
scratching your head as Duncombe's notions about infinity and the
essence of 'Essence ' surface and stew... more or less... in their own juices.
(Left ti right: Henry Thompson, Naomi Helen Weissberg, Angela Beyer. Photo Paul Rubenstein
Directed by Frédérique Michel
Charles A. Duncombe
The City Garage
2525 Michigan Ave. Building T1Santa Monica, Ca. 90404
Opened:Saturday, August 6, 2022
Plays Fridays & Saturdays @ 8:00pm
Sundays @ 4:00pm
Through Sunday, September 11, 2022
General Admission $30
Students/Seniors w/ID $25
Tickets and information: