Music Monday: John Tracy Happy Ever After

Happy Ever After, John Tracy, music, love, family

Casual Twitter chats are truly amazing. Not only did I discover some pretty fine music, but a wonderful person in John Tracy, who began by simply asking me, “What style of music do you enjoy most?”

“My music is the kind that would pull at your heart – acoustic guitar, stories of life, love and family.”

To say that John Tracy writes real music for people living real life might not quite sum up his music written with purpose and passion. His introspective songs resonate deeply within our souls. His expertise on acoustic guitar allows him to create intricate melodies that move your feet and will make your spirit lighter.  John draws on his influences from folk, blues and acoustic rock, adding modern elements and mixing in relatable themes to make music that is relevant to all of us on this human journey.

Learn more John’s body of work at http://www.johntracymusic.com.

A surefire cure for pessimism and cynicism, and who doesn’t want a happy ever after.  Happy End of Summer!

Find John on Twitter.  You can also download some free music:

 @JohnTracyMusic

‘Pro99’ Actors’ Equity members send open letter to AEA President Kate Shindle

Members congratulate Shindle on election victory and respond to inaugural column in Equity News

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 27, 2015) — Members of the “Pro99” movement of Actors’ Equity Association have issued an open letter to AEA’s newly elected president, Kate Shindle, in response to her victory and to her inaugural address as president of the national union for actors and stage managers. The open letter is signed by over 400 Equity members (listed below), including such notable names as Ed Asner, Francis Fisher, Sally Kirkland and Alfred Molina.

The “Pro99” movement formed in late 2014 in opposition to AEA’s rollout of a new plan that will effectively force “intimate theaters” in Los Angeles to pay Equity actors minimum wage, go “non-union” or even close – despite an overwhelming vote against the plan by 66% of the Los Angeles membership on an advisory referendum. “Pro99” members around the nation, who take their name from the current AEA “99 Seat Plan” that allows members to volunteer in smaller venues, oppose AEA’s new promulgated plan.

They are requesting that Equity leadership put a moratorium on the plan until local members’ voices can be heard, and that the union work with its members to develop an alternative plan that will more realistically address the needs of the Los Angeles theater community.

An Open Letter to Actors’ Equity President Kate Shindle from #Pro99 AEA Members

Dear President Shindle,

We, the undersigned members of AEA who support the Pro99 movement, both in the L.A. area and around the nation, congratulate you on your win, and wish you a successful term as President of our beloved union. We were satisfied that our passionate campaigning helped to elect you, and appreciated that during your campaign you came to Los Angeles to meet with us and express your interest in the 99- Seat debacle that has galvanized our Los Angeles Theatre Community.

In your “Inaugural Column” in the July/August 2015 edition of Equity News you wrote: “Everyone has a different definition of what’s cool; to me, the coolest thing Equity can do is to encourage its members to be passionate, vocal activists and ambassadors. Because that will not only make our industry more successful, it will also make our union stronger.”

We couldn’t agree more. We are also encouraged and grateful that you mention our cause in your column, especially since we do not feel we have always been fairly represented in Equity News and emails — that is, when we’ve been represented at all. Thank you for your willingness to both meet with us and publicly discuss what absolutely continues to be a crisis in our union. As you noted, we do have much to celebrate about intimate theatre in L.A. — almost thirty years of rich and creative work under the guidelines endorsed by our own union.

However, we’re concerned about your mention of a recent Fringe Festival production that was produced under the proposed “New 99-Seat Theatre Agreement.” Though you present it as something to perhaps celebrate, we wish to be clear that that Agreement is precisely what an overwhelming majority of local AEA members voted against in the advisory referendum (66%: a landslide). As you can imagine, LA members don’t consider this an event to celebrate. We think it is, in fact, the problem, and not the solution. Worse, we think the way the new agreement was promulgated by the union is even more problematic for the democratic process. We have found the actions and messaging of the leadership of our union troubling, and the fact that the leadership ignored the will of its own membership is deeply disturbing. Worst of all, we firmly believe this new plan will effectively destroy our vibrant theatrical community.

We love our union. We have, from the beginning, offered to work with Council and staff to find a solution that will not only address our concerns, but also make our union stronger and respectful of local members’ needs. We welcome turning a new page with your support and willingness to listen to us articulate the realities of our community in order to resolve this crisis.

In solidarity,

Members of AEA
#PRO99 movement

About “Intimate Theatre” and #Pro99

Over the past 50 years, whether it be 99-Seats in L.A., Off-Off Broadway in New York, or companies starting out like Steppenwolf in Chicago, some of the most important productions in American theatre history have originated in “intimate theaters.” Right now, a 99-seat production from Los Angeles of “Spring Awakening” is opening on Broadway, with twenty members of the original LA cast all earning multiple contract weeks and, proudly, earning their Equity cards. This is only one of countless examples — hundreds of shows, thousands of contracts for hundreds of thousands of work weeks — over several decades that have come directly from intimate theatre productions, creating opportunities and work for actors, stage managers, playwrights, directors and designers. This is not just a Los Angeles issue; members across the country share similar issues that create the need for intimate theatre where AEA actors can do their work. To attack the state of 99-Seat theatre is to attack the core of American theatre. We must preserve these venues, not destroy them.

Link to online version of “Open Letter to Actors’ Equity President Kate Shindle from #Pro99”
http://ilove99.org/2015/08/13/open-letter-to-aea-president-kate-shindle-from-pro99-aea-members/

Link to Kate Shindle “Inaugural Column” in Equity News
http://actorsequity.org/AboutEquity/presidentscolumn1.asp

SIGNED, by the following members of Actors’ Equity Association (partial list):

Antoinette Abbamonte
Rhonda Aldrich
Jason Alexander
John Allee
Erinn Anova
John Apicella
Devon Armstrong
Hugo Armstrong
Frank Ashmore
Ed Asner
Whitney Avalon
Shannon Lee Avnsoe
Richard Azurdia
Tim Bagley
Dennis Baker
Libby Baker
Jordan Baker-Kilner
Melisa Bales
Melisaa Weber Bales
Tisha Terrasini Banker
Karen Bankhead
Jon Collin Barclay
Dana Lyn Baron
Cynthia Beckert
Michael James Bell
Rona Benson
Tom Beyer
Allison Bibicoff
Melina Bielefelt
John Billingsley
Royana Black
Alison Blanchard
Troy Blendell
Daniel Blinkoff
Meaghan Boeing
Curt Bonnem
Lisa Boyd
Loretta Bradley
Alysha Brady
Mark Bramhall
Brendan Brandt
Libby Brien
Bill Brochtrup
Ann Bronston
Haynes Brooke
Sarah Brooke
Rob Brownstein
Ezra Buzzington
Kacey Camp
Caitlin Renìce Campbell
Colin Campbell
Mike Campbell
Lauren Campedelli
Amanda Carlin
Cathy Carlton
Ginna Carter
Rob Roy Cesar
Jennifer Chambers
Blaire Chandler
Emily Chase
Bryan Chesters
Joan Chodorow
Jerry Clarke
Roslyn Cohn
Laura Coker
John Combs
Vince Corazza
Mimi Cozzens
James Patrick Cronin
Nathalie Cunningham
Christopher Curry
Maia Danzinger
Peter Davies
Julia Davis
Susan Carol Davis
Timothy Davis-Reed
Albert Dayan
Lee De Broux
Liza De Weerd
Kathy Bell Denton
David Desantos
Etta Devine
Susan Dexter
Vince Donvito
Nike Doukas
John Downey III
Lisa Dring
Padraic Duffy
Robert Duncan
Emily Eiden
Larry Eisenberg
Rob Elk
Tony Embeck-Motzenbacker
Mel England
Nicole Erb
Stephanie A. Erb
Daniel Espeseth
James Esposito
Terry Evans
Thomas Evans
Jennie Fahn
Richard Fancy
Shannon Farnon
Alex Fernandez
James Ferrero
Peter Finlayson
Brian Finney
Tom Fiscella
Susan Fisher
Frances Fisher
Tom Fitzpatrick
Karianne Flaathen
Bridget Flanery
Brighid Fleming
Julia Fletcher
Suzanne Ford
Marilyn Fox
Bo Foxworth
Bruce French
Penny Fuller
Michael Gabiano
Douglas Gabrielle
Richard Gallegos
Jeff Thomas Gardner
Kimiko Gelman
Taylor Gilbert
Lisa Glass
Alexandra Goodman
Wendy Gough
Kathryn Graf
Laurel Green
Brad Greenquist
S.A. Griffin
Chet Grissom
Ayre Gross
Vincent Guastaferro
Nicholas Guest
Christopher Guilmet
Arjun Gupta
Jennifer Gwillim
Katherine Haan
Jeanie Hackett
Molly Hagan
Herb Hall
Tim Halligan
Kurt Andrew Hansen
Amy K Harmon
Dj Harner
Jim Haynie
Brian Helm
Gregg Henry
Ted Heyck
Victoria Hoffman
Jerry Hoffman
Steve Hofvendahl
Henry Holden
Travis Holder
Michelle Holmes
Stuart Howard
Charles Howerton
Jason Huber
William Dennis Hunt
Alberto Isaac
Debbie Jaffe
Mary Ellen Jennings
Wendy Johnson
Jeffrey Jones
Kennedy Kabaseres
Elizabeth Karr
Drew Katzman
Thorsten Kaye
Crystal Keith
Jason E. Kelley
Mckerrin Kelly
Dylan Kenin
Linda Kerns
Jimmy Kieffer
Sally Kirkland
Matt Kirkwood
Mary Jo Kirwan
Eliza Kiss
Melissa Kite
Corey Klemow
Tamara Krinsky
Jonothon Lamer
Michael Lanahan
Edgar Landa
Jack Laufer
Gregg Lawrence
Bobby Lesser
Kelly Lester
Brian Letscher
Ed Levey
Amir Levi
Peter Dan Levin
Laura Levy
Sarah Lilly
Nancy Linehan
Sylvia Little
Ian Littleworth
Ana Therese Lopez
Jeremy Lucas
Jordan Lund
Aaron Lyons
Dennis Madden
Jill Magilone
Mike Mahaffey
Christopher Maikish
Alan Mandell
Sandy Mansson
Michael Manuel
Abigail Marks
Ferrell Marshall
Ron Masak
Edgar Mastin
Dakin Mathews
Anna Mathias
Jeremy Maxwell
Margaret Mccarley
Kevin Mccorkle
Michael Mcgee
David Lm Mcintyre
Matt Mckenzie
David Mcknight
Don Mcmanus
Nan Mcnamara
Vince Melocchi
Bill Mendieta
Kevin Meoak
Rebecca Metz
Toby Meuli
Adam Meyer
Cameron Meyer
Colin Mitchell
Alfred Molina
Robert Homer Mollohan
Mindy Montavon
Sean Moran
Andrea Morgan
Virginia Morris
Allie Mulholland
Jon Mullich
Rob Nagle
Geoffgrey Nauffts
Judy Nazemetz
Shannon Nelson
Claudette Nevins
Sara Newman
Gregory Niebel
Bruce Nozick
Lynn Odell
Nick Offerman
Adenrele Ojo
Laurie Okin
Penny Orloff
Ann Osmond
Jason Paige
Marina Palmier
Ray Paolantonio
Ramon V. Parra
Tony Pasqualini
Lisa Pelikan
Jessica Pennington
Zoe Perry
Lisa Pescia
Alina Phelan
Jonathan Kells Philips
Marissa Pitts
Vic Polizos
John Pollono
Rose Portillo
Mary Portsner
Annie Potts
Lawrence Pressman
Michael Prichard
Roses Prichard
Sean Pritchett
Philip Proctor
Zachary Quinto
Anna Quirino
Linda Rand
Rebecca Rasmussen
Noreen Reardon
Tom Regan
Annette Reid
Elizabeth Reilly
Shanti Reinhardt
Betsy Reisz
Marci Richmond
Roger Rignack
Rene Rivera
Crystal Robbins
Brian Rohan
Tracey Rooney
Stan Roth
Michael Rothhaar
Adriana Roze
Susan Rubin
Paul Rurbiak
Ann Ryerson
Jeanne Sakata
Barry Saltzman
William Salyers
Elizabeth Sampson
Julia Sanford
Norman Scott
Diane Sellers
Mimi Seton
Tro Shaw
Sharron Shayne
Stephanie Shayne
David Shine
Graham Sibley
Jacob Sidney
Ruth Silveira
Adam Silver
Anibal Silveyra
John Sloan
Tucker Smallwood
Sammi Smith
Jacques C. Smith
Debra Snyder
Suzan Solomon
Wendy Soroka
Devon Sorvari
Richard Soto
Joe Spano
Adrian Sparks
Valerie Spencer
Steve Spiro
Patrick Stafford
Sami Staitman
Rick Steadman
David Steen
Jeannine Stehlin
Ellyn Stern
Theo Stevens
Elizabeth Swain
Kim Swennen
Joel Swetow
Jeanne Syquia
John Szura
Bart Tangredi
Barbara Tarbuck
Nick Tate
Jennifer Taub
Mark Taylor
Martin Thompson
Donal Thoms-Cappello
Paul Tigue
Debi Tinsley
Amy Tolsky
Cathy Diane Tomin
Marcelo Tubert
Nick Ullett
Carole Ursetti
Brenda Varda
Tania Verafield
Steve Vinovich
Michael Wallot
Kristine Waters
Cameron Watson
Vance Wells
Leo Weltman
Patrick Wenk-Wolff
Mandy Levin Williams
Mark Mcclain Wilson
Dan Wingard
Gail Wirth
Steven Wishnoff
Robert Woods
Wendy Worthington
Tim Wright
Kimberly Yates
Travis York
David Youse
Lb Zimmerman

Stupid Is As Stupid Gets at the Rockwell Table & Stage

Kerri-Saturday-Night

SATURDAY NIGHT: Gabriel Oliva/Selyna Warren/Marissa Shields/Keri Safran/Sarah Wolter/Yael Berkovich/Brant Cox

YES. They actually DID do it again!

Stupid Songs LA decided to give several encore performances at the Rockwell Table & Stage this month including STUPID GOLD, a compilation of their most favorite chart toppers.

If I had to be honest, (and well I kind of do), their earlier 2015 Hollywood Fringe hits list was a categorically flawlessly weaved execution of musical revue sketch comedy. However, this ‘a la Forbidden Broadway’ style troupe never ceases to regale audiences and regular fans (like — A LOT OF THEM!) with their particular euphonious, outlandish, bon mot — STUPID GOLD prevailed exceptionally.

Aided by very special guests Missi Pyle (Gone Girl, The Artist, Galaxy Quest) & Brooke Dillman (Wrecked, The Middle), who performed original material on guitar as the amazing duo, The Tumbleweeds with exuberant and completely inappropriate renditions of Holiday Medley & Armageddon Excited!!  [Can someone give me a “Dear Lord!”?], STUPID GOLD brought down the house with some of my own personal favorites including Bobby D sung by powerhouse Selyna Warren and Pleasure Town sung by the incomparable Carla Delaney who returned with a truly hysterical “chaser” of Nervous Compensation and Yael Berkovich in a practically X-rated Pregnancy Song.  The complete song list is below.

BobbyD

BOBBY D – “I got a little crush on…Robert Durst!” – Music, Lyrics & Performed by Selyna Warren

Under the direction of über talent Keri Safran at the helm again with Emily Cohn (Alien Vs. Musical) joining as Music Director, 100% entertainment is to be found every single time.  The company is unstoppable.

Carlo Capolupo returns on bass, with Jon Gray on drums and Special Guest Andrew Samples on Guitar.

Stupid Cast: Yael Berkovich, Tad Coughenour, Brant Cox, Sara Cravens, Jason Currie(In-House Music Director), Carla Delaney, Laura Hughes, Aaron Matijasic, Gabriel Oliva, Keri Safran, Marissa Shields, Selyna Warren & Sarah Wolter.

Here’s one they didn’t repeat.  But Keri Safran singing ‘Goo’ is way too good to leave out! ;)

STUPID GOLD SONG LIST! 8/18/15 – Rockwell

STUPID GOLD: “Now that you’re here, order a beer. You have no choice!”
Xanadu written by Jeff Lynne; Lyrics by Keri Safran; Performed by Troupe

MY NEIGHBOR: “I think my neighbor murders girls!”
Music & Lyrics by Sarah Wolter; Performed by Sarah Wolter, Gabriel Oliva & Troupe

FARMER’S MARKET: “I come to check out Hot Dads, Hot Moms!”
Music, Lyrics and Performance by Sara Cravens & Andrew Samples

WITCHES WITH A “B”: “We’re witches…who are twats”
Music by Selyna Warren & Jason Currie, Lyrics by Selyna Warren; Performed by Selyna, Laura Hughes & Marissa Shields

WAY AHEAD OF MY TIME: “I’m…not like the other cavemen!”
Music & Lyrics by Peter Mills; Performed by Tad Coughenour

NERVOUS COMPENSATION: “When I get nervous, I overcompensate.”
Music, Lyrics & Impressions by Carla Delaney; Arrangements by Bryan Blaskie

SCREW LOOSE: “But I just don’t see the harm, in carving your name in my arm.”
Music & Lyrics by David Javerbaum & Adam Schlesinger; Performed by Marissa Shields

L.S.B.F.: “You’re my Lover, my Spouse and-uh my Best Friend.”
Music by Jason Currie; Lyrics & Performance by Jason Currie & Keri Safran

BOBBY D: “I got a little crush on…Robert Durst!”
Music, Lyrics & Performed by Selyna Warren

EYE TO EYE: “You’ll never see your own Butt-Ho-o-o-o-ole! It’s impo-o-o-o-ssible!”
Music, Lyrics & Performed by Laura Hughes

I USED TO BE (Dad Bod): “My dad bod says I’m confident! And CrossFit SUCKS!”
Music & Lyrics by Jason Currie; Performed by Jason w/ Carla, Yael, Sara & Sarah

MISSI PYLE & BROOKE DILLMAN: Holiday Medley & Armageddon Excited!!

JUST A COUPLE A GUYS: “Do ya wanna go to the Eiffel Tower & spend some time with us?”
Music & Lyrics by Aaron Matijasic & Gabriel Oliva; Performed by Aaron, Gabriel & Troupe

TOO PRETTY: “I’m too pretty for cleaning floors while serving you whores.”
Music & Lyrics by Katie Thompson; Performed by Brant Cox

PLEASURE TOWN: “Yes I go to Funky Town…when my neighbors groooove!”
Music & Lyrics by Carla Delaney; Arr. by Bryan Blaskie; Performed by Carla Delaney w/ Troupe

PREGNANCY SONG: “It all starts…with fucking!”
Music & Lyrics by Kristin Anderson-Lopez; Performed by Yael Berkovich

NETFLIX: “I got that HBO Go, SHO-any-Time, Amazon Prime, I got that Neflix…”
Music, Lyrics & Performance by Sara Cravens & Andrew Samples

SATURDAY NIGHT (aka Cat Lady): “You think that’s disgusting? Well, FUCK YOU, I’m a…CAT LADY!”
Lyrics by Keri Safran & Jason Currie; Performed by Keri Safran & Troupe of CATS

The 7th Annual One-Man Show World Championships Returns

With a sudden schedule opening by a generous invitation from Celebration Theatre @ The Lex, The RAH Theater Co. has jumped at the opportunity to bring their Hollywood Fringe hit to a Los Angeles small theater institution…

lex

The RAH Theater Company announces a new staging of their critically acclaimed original comedy, “The 7th Annual One-Man Show World Championships” opening September 4 at the new Celebration Theatre at the Lex.

A biting yet affectionate satire of the solo show phenomenon set against the backdrop of the World Championships in Omaha, watch as four regional champs clash in this year’s “Tourney of the Journeys.” An audience favorite at this Summer’s Hollywood Fringe Festival, the production received 10 Fringe Award nominations (including  Top of Fringe and Best Comedy) and won three (Theatre Unleashed Best Actor for Darin Toonder, Spirit of the Fringe Best Male Performance for Jim Hanna and The Encore Producer’s Award). The show is directed by Caitlin Rucker.

Trent “The Soul Mirror” Isaacs is the 6-time reigning, defending world champion, returning to crush and humiliate the competition at this year’s One-Man Show World Championships with his epic piece, “Stumbling Toward Valhalla.” All of the other regional champs are playing for 2nd place: Ally, the over-earnest and far too graphic little firecracker telling the story of her path from girl to woman in “Who Moved My Yurt?” Shelby and her terrifically inappropriate re-imagining of the life of Sharon Tate, “I Am Not Mrs. Polanski’.” And the wildcard of the group, the second runner up at the West Regionals sent as a substitute, Gary. Can this rookie and complete unknown shock the solo show community and pull the upset? Tears will flow, impressions of elderly family members will fly and ponderous journeys of self-discovery will play out in this brutal send-up.

WHERE:
Celebration Theatre @ The Lex, 6760 Lexington Ave., L.A. CA, 90038

WHEN:
Every Friday and Saturday night from Sept. 4 – Oct. 10 (First two weekends at 8 pm, final four weekends at 10 pm)

Sept 4, 5, 11 & 12 at 8 pm

Sept. 18, 19, 25 & 26 at 10 pm*

Oct. 2, 3, 9 & 10 at 10 pm*

*All 10 pm shows will run on a double bill with Celebration’s Sketch Comedy Show “Kim Jong Funner”at 8 pm

TICKETS:  $12, available at celebrationtheatre.com

CAST:
Trent: Darin Toonder (“Modern Family,” “Parks & Recreation,” “Castle,” “Jeff the Cat”)
Danny: Forrest Lancaster (“Passing Proper,” “Bent,” “About Abigail”)
Ally: Tamara Lynn Davis (“Hot in Cleveland,” “How I Met Your Mother”)
Shelby: Sarah Chaney (Fringe award winners “Doomsday Cabaret,” “Exorcistic” and “Werewolves of Hollywood Blvd.”)
Gary: Jim Hanna (LA Drama Critic’s Circle Best Actor and two-time nominee, LA Weekly Best Actor, “Ray Donovan,” “Parks & Recreation”)

A RAH THEATER PRODUCTION

Directed by Caitlin Rucker   Written by Jim Hanna.

 

  • “A scathing but deliciously comical send-up of the one-person show genre.  Helmer Rucker admirably keeps folks on point while allowing them to seemingly bounce off the walls as they regale the audience with their thoroughly improper lives.” – Julio Martinez
  • “All I know is that I haven’t laughed that hard and long in a while, and I certainly haven’t cried from laughing at a Fringe show in ages.”–Turnstyle News
  • “Exhilarating…spot on…absolutely brilliant…spirited take down…required viewing.” – Cinesnatch
  • “Hanna’s script is marvelously concise (and) keeps the laughs coming. Sharply satirical.”  — Showmag
  • Hilarious from the grandiose melodramatic lights up. Very highly recommended.” — Gia On The Move

 

 

The Red Moon is Coming to Zombie Joe’s

 

The-Red-Moon-Vampire-Musical

Anthony and Roxanna’s bond of eternal love is challenged by their adventurous lust for human flesh and Roxanna’s drive for redemption. Ramon Sanchez’s musical vampire love story makes its world premiere at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group.

ZJU Theatre Group, in its ever-present need to expand it’s theatrical boundaries, approached Los Angeles-based songwriter and playwright Ramon Sanchez last Christmas to further develop his passionate love story, and ZJU’s Lead-Director Denise Devin is excited to bring Ramon’s vampiric-musical to life at ZJU.  Zombie Joe’s Underground has a long history of supporting original work, from inside the group as well as outside the company, and our established, edgy, and experimental theatre in the NOHO Arts District of North Hollywood proves the perfect home for “The Red Moon”.

Directed by Denise Devin and Produced by Zombie Joe.

Grand Opening:  SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 @ 8:30pm;
FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS @ 8:30pm,
SEPTEMBER 4 – 26, 2015

ZJU Theatre Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601
Tickets Only $15.
For Reservations Call:  818-202-4120
Website: ZombieJoes.com
Advance Tickets On Sale for All Performances at ZombieJoes.Tix.com}

*PRESS TIX NOW AVAILABLE FOR ALL PERFORMANCES.
*Contact Zombie Joe @ 818-202-4120, or Email: zombiejoes@gmail.com

Wendy Graf Creates the Extraordinary in ‘All American Girl’

By Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

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A more perfect play?

Nope. Wendy Graf ‘nails it’ in All American Girl.

Simply said playwright Wendy Graf has created a conversation about today’s culture that keeps us asking questions and yet never actually enters the dialog with an opinion.

In All American Girl we are given a hypothetical story about the wife of the Boston Bomber, who in real life, under the hijab and abaya is basically a sheltered middle class girl raised in Rhode Island, who converts to Islam.

It is truly eery watching Katie transform before our eyes. We witness her in her young life as she faces childhood worries, disappointments and incidences that to us seem simple but to her are so extraordinary; things she sometimes doesn’t understand, which are never explained to her and which ultimately are never emotionally resolved.  

These moments that Katie recalls marked by exact year, seem to be the gateway to her getting caught up in the life of a man she becomes infatuated with in college, then loves, then marries; a man who occasionally abuses her, a man who she assures is dedicated to her, a man she has a child by and (in Graf’s version of the Boston Bomber wife story) who she ultimately follows, supports and even initiates parts of a holy war with… till death where they part.

The issues that are constantly brought up in this play are ones we all face today. Right and wrong is not black and white. As Graf discusses in her notes, “One man’s activist could be another man’s terrorist”. Graf also poses the question, “Is violence and violent protest ever justified?”

Where is easy to take sides in Graf’s play with Katie as we witness the devolution of her life, sincerely fulfilled at first by her newfound Islamic values and lifestyle which she finds beautiful and honest, then facing the very real hardship of being her family’s sole provider, as her husband cannot find employment, and experiencing racism in a way she has never had to face, it is not easy to simply go along with her absolute radicalism. She becomes completely consumed by a single point of view.

Yes, injustice is happening all the time, the news indescribably horrific, children are being murdered, and on one occasion, right before her eyes.  And while we can certainly feel Katie’s pain, experience the full horror for ourselves through her telling of it, empathize with her husbands plight of being an outsider in a foreign culture, being kept down, targeted and on more than one occasion sincerely dehumanized, she herself is never without a choice to step back from the violence. Instead, she flings herself headlong into.

Jeanne Syquia plays an incredibly naive Katie who takes the audience by the hand like a small child, pulling us gently along her journey, at first very carefully and comprehensively rationalizing every decision. When she arrives at the point of no return, the audience has no choice but to step out and voyeuristically watch without involvement. Syquia displays a fanatically embittered woman caught on the other side of sense, about to commit the very deluded act she is protesting. 

One gets the not-so-far-fetched feeling that we are somehow doomed to a never-ending cycle and that violence begets violence.  But what would you do?  

All American Girl is an extraordinary piece designed through simplicity and pure storytelling without effect. Phenomenal. Heartbreaking.

Written by Wendy Graf
Directed by Anita Khanzadian
Starring Annika Marks and Jeanne Syquia (alternating)
Produced by Alan Naggar
Presented by InterACT Theatre Company, Alan Naggar, producing director

Performances continue through Aug. 30:

Fridays at 8 p.m. Aug. 28
Saturday at 8 p.m. Aug. 29
Sunday at 3 p.m. Aug. 30

WHERE:
Lounge Theatre
6201 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90038
(just east of Vine)

HOW:
(818) 765-8732 or www.InterACTla.org
Like them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/InterACTla
Follow them on Twitter: @interACTla

TICKETS:
$30

PHOTOS:
Click on the photos below to link to high resolution versions, or email lucy@lucypr.com to request jpegs
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