We enter to Jan Munroe's simple and effective set including a beautiful backdrop of what I'm guessing is Boston Harbor, painted by Stephanie Crothers. Munro's design is multipurpose and effective.
"To the Bone" happens in Boston. It's 2013. Twenty years earlier, in 1993, the Red Sox suffered a major blow when they lost the pennant because a Yankees fan rushed the field, nullifying an Out that would have won the game for the Sox. Keep this in mind.
In their high school days, sisters Kelly Moran (dynamic! Tisha Terrasini Banker) and Maureen Dugan (approaching genteel Amanda Weier) were known as 'tough girls'.
|Amanda Weier and Tisha Terrasini Banker|
Photo by Frank Ishman
Now, twenty years later having had some rough life lessons, the family still roots for the Boston Red Sox.
Butterfield's story turns on the social mores of Southie Boston and choices. Scotty and Kelly laughed all the way through "Fatal Attraction." That's how Kelly knew that Scotty was the guy for her. When Kelly fell in 'lust' with Scotty, the situation became a baby who was given up for adoption. Scotty took a hike, like to Texas or something, and Kelly, preggers and ready to graduate high school was on her own. "Adotping the kid out" was a life saving move. She was only seventeen.
Butterfield has contrived a meeting for Kelly to, at last, meet her now twenty two year old daughter, Geneva Gibbs (lovely Alice Kors), the kid whom she gave up after her unplanned teen pregnancy. An ulterior motive slowly and then abruptly emerges.
|Kacey Mayeda, Amanda Weier, Jack David Sharpe,|
Tisha Terrasini Banker and Alice Kors
Photo by Frank Ishman
At first light, we are off and running with heavy Bahstn accents and volume. Make no mistake, Kelly is a nervous wreck and sister Maureen, who has had some training in social work now attempting to calm the waters, finds it a Fool's Errnad as we hurtle toward some diffcult truths.
With a slight air of situation comedy and an edge to the dramatic, this ain't no Neil Simon outing. Strong performances by all concerned, though somewhat forced by the nature of the material, we meet 19 year old Sean (sharply sullen Jack David Sharpe), Kelly's second kid with whom she is left when husband Scotty (they did finally get married) while working on a fishing boat is swept out to sea and drowned. Factor in Geneva's Asian Emerson College (Go Lions!) roommate, film maker, Darcy (edgy, with allergies, Kacey Mayeda), who carves a nice niche for herself in the plot.
Pace and performances all move along nicely.
In what must be typical working class Southie style, the accents are ovah da top and filled with energy: Earthy and mostly not apologetic.
Butterfield's plot is slightly predictable with nice twists and turns. The piece moves a pace.
The laughs, especially, are worth a go.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
KELLY MORAN : Tisha Terrasini Banker
MAUREEN DUGAN : Amanda Weier
GENEVA GIBBS: Alice Kors
DARCY CHWE: Kacey Mayeda
SEAN MORAN : Jack David Sharpe
Marc Antonio Pritchett
Ina Shumaker & Bruce Dickinson
Production Stage Manager
TO THE BONE World Premiere
by Catherine Butterfield
Atwater Village Theatre
3269 Casitas Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Performances: Oct. 1 – Nov. 5:
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: Sept. 30 (preview); Oct. 7; Oct. 14; Oct. 21; Oct 28; Nov. 4
• Saturday at 2 p.m.: Oct. 29 ONLY
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.:
Oct. 1 (Opening Night);
Oct. 8; Oct. 15; Oct. 22; Nov. 5 (dark Oct. 29)
• Sundays at 2 p.m.: Oct. 23 and Oct. 30 ONLY
• Sundays at 7 p.m.: Oct. 2; Oct. 9; Oct. 16 ONLY
Tickets and information:
323) 882-6912 or go to www.openfist.org
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