by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

This past Monday night introduced the Los Angeles theatre community to a new work entitled, The Fourth Estate, written by Bitter Lemons founder, playwrite and director Colin Mitchell.

Premiering as a reading The Fourth Estate starred Ed Asner along with all-star cast members Ed Begley Jr., Jenny O’Hara, Rob Nagle, Deborah Puette, Diarra Kilpatrick, David Starzyk and Andy Hirsch. Directed by Christian Levatino the show was given space at Theatre Theatre on Pico courtesy of John Flynn and Rogue Machine (coincidentally a top of list at Gia On The Move – we love them!).

The Fourth Estate takes us inside the present day of a disgraced journalist from the 1960′s who gets a second chance to investigate the story that made him infamous. It’s a contemporary redemption story wrapped in the overcoat of a mystery thriller; and to say this piece was brilliant, is an understatement.

Ed Asner simply “killed it!”

“Everyone turn off their cell phones now”

“What if I get a call?” (Ed)

[laughter in the house]

…and the play took off before the gate even opened…

If awards were given out for timing alone there would none to stand in Asner’s way.  Embodying the very word curmudgeon Asner was spot on, humorous and in full high drama comedic effect.  There could be no comparison. Assisting his antics was actress Jenny O’Hara who matched him blow for blow in a tete a tete of lines, behaviors, emotions and spot on delivery. And every actor on the stage brought their A game.

But the real excitement was the script.  This is without a doubt Mitchell’s best, most thought out, most exciting piece to date.  Almost two hours long and the audience stayed with it to the end.

Congrats!  Looking forward to a full-on production of this piece and hoping that the cast stays intact.  It will certainly be a marvel to see it on it’s feet. Although, truth be told, it was already there.

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