“Sweet Thursday” — LA theater review for LA Weekly

Photo by Vitor Martins.

 

::STOP PRESS:: John Steinbeck’s SWEET THURSDAY, now playing at Pacific Resident Theatre has been extended an additional four weeks through Sunday, October 28, 2012.

Dear readers!

My theater review last week for the LA Weekly was of Sweet Thursday, a Steinbeck adaptation by Robb Derringer and Matt McKenzie, now playing at the Pacific Resident Theatre, in Venice.

 

Click here to go to the LA Weekly’s theater page and scroll down towards the bottom.

 

~ OR ~

 

You can just read it here!!

 

Happy reading!

Sweet Thursday

Take a trip back sixty or so years to a sweeter, gentler time when alcoholic bums were jovial and kind and bordello madams had a heart of gold.

Robb Derringer and Matt McKenzie (who also directs) have beautifully adapted novelist John Steinbeck’s sequel to Cannery Row, Sweet Thursday, into a three-act stage play with music. Steinbeck’s early line about how “gossamer threads of steel” connect everyone in this small community is diligently played out in the adorable love story that ensues.

Doc (Joe McGovern) returns to his northern cali beachtown after WWII to resume his marine biology experiments. Suzy (Lela Loren) is a fresh-off-the-bus cutie who is not cut out for working at Fauna’s brothel/finishing school. The motley crew of locals conspires to repay Doc’s enduring kindness with two separate schemes.

Musical director London Shover shines playing bluesy steel-stringed guitar, while other colorful characters intermittently accompany him on flute, harmonica and muted trumpet. Performances are all pitched a little larger than life, but somehow it works. A highlight is a spirited swing dance number.

The writers collaboratively weave comedy, humanity and insight into a delightful tale that is true to Steinbeck’s original. Charles Erven’s authentically cluttered set and Audrey Eisner’s period costumes are perfect.

 

Sweet Thursday: Robb Derringer and Matt McKenzie’s adaptation of John Steinbeck.

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m.

Continues through Sept. 30, (310) 822-8392,

Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice.

 

 

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