Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
Allegorically smart, The Gentrification Cycle turns out a sophisticated two-parter which discusses the subject of communication in two conjoined plays written by New York playwright, G.D. Kimble. The first, a west coast premiere of Jen Tries Vacation. The second, a world premiere of Locomotive Repair in Three Easy Steps.
In Jen Tries Vacation an affluent couple wanders into an inner city neighborhood and comes face to face with an alternate reality which only one of them really understands.
Locomotive Repair in Three Easy Steps takes on a distorted evolution of Chekhov’s Three Sisters where everyone is ‘broken’ and everything is ‘changing’.
Both pieces have focal points that take on class structure and even class warfare. But where Jen Tries Vacation evocatively voices the opinions and sometimes dark expressions of both natives and visitors in a ghetto neighborhood being invaded by new money, Locomotive Repair stays on the muddy side of the common man on the rise. There are gleaming moments of clarity, but not altogether.
The journey with both however is intriguing enough. And the cast outdoes themselves.
Recommended for the idea – ology.
Directed by Christina Cigala
Featuring (in alphabetical order) Jon Gentry, Emily McLeod, Suzan Mikiel, Adam Tomei, Brian Wallace, Claire Winters, and Allison Youngberg
The creative team includes Brad Harris (set design and assistant director), Brandon Baruch (lighting design), Natascha Snellman (costume design), and James Ferrero (sound design). Fight choreography is by Dane Oliver, the stage manager is Erica Criddle, and Allison Youngberg is the producer for Samovar Subway Ensemble.