Saturday, August 22, 2009
ANITA BRYANT DIED FOR YOUR SINS - West Coast Ensemble
Was at the opening night of Anita Bryant Died for Your Sins at the West Coast Ensemble Theater. It was my favorite play I've seen this year, and probably the best play I've seen since August, Osage County. I simply can't recommend this show enough. It is pure joy - funny, touching, smart and did I say funny?
Written by Brian Christopher Williams, he takes you through the coming of age of Horace Poore from 1969 - 1977 in lightening speed while sprinkling in the backdrop of the nation's political upheaval of the time. His writing is funny, economical and smart. But by the time you reach the end of the play you are fully invested in the characters he has carefully developed and you can't help but root for them all.
The center of the action and the heart of this play is the character of Horace. It requires an actor of extraordinary talents to drive this show and Wyatt Fenner is more than up to the task. A fellow graduate of the University of Southern California BFA program he draws you in with his charm and disarms you with his ability to deliver a sophisticated barb disguised in naivete.
The rest of the cast is equally sharp and delivers a true ensemble performance. There really is not a misstep in any performance. A nod also goes out the the director, Richard Israel. The show moves so quickly through time that it requires a very sure hand at the helm. Mr. Israel keeps the pace moving and never lets the action get stuck or linger in caricature.
The show is scheduled to go through Oct. 4th, but go see it as soon as you can. It certainly bears repeated watching.