May 19, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Theater Review: Loyalties: Two War-Torn Families Test Their Loyalties

There’s much to like about Tony Pasqualini’s Loyalties, a modern day war drama that tracks two couples whose sons have enlisted. The story couldn’t be more relevant and the acting in Pacific Resident Theatre’s world premiere production is solid. But too many tragedies get packed into one tiny play and the characters seem perpetually stricken by desperate emotional states. If Pasqualini is willing to add a large dose of subtext and subtract a glaring overabundance of emotionally manipulative exposition, the script has a shot at excellence.

The drama centers on Joy (Robin Becker), Frank (Michael Rothhaar), Andrew (Tony Pasqualini) and Mel (Karen Landry, understudy for Sarah Brooke). The two couples are the parents of Donny, who was killed in combat, and Michael (Albert Meijer), who has gone AWOL after learning of his childhood friend’s death in battle. Joy and Frank find their son’s death noble, and are outraged when they discover that Andrew and Mel are helping Michael stay on the run. Things get ugly when Frank threatens to turn Michael in. The two couples go head to head and violence ensues.

Watching two sets of parents attempt to protect and honor their children is certainly gripping. It’s fairly infuriating to watch a mother and father who have lost their son to war try to bamboozle another mother and father into sacrificing their own son for the cause. Not to mention the fact that Joy and Frank both display signs of serious instability – he carries explosives around, she heads up a volunteer group of mothers who seem endlessly proud about their sons’ war-related deaths.

The character of Joy is utterly steeped in tragedy, because she misses her son but clings to his death as a source of pride. When she begins to view Donny’s death as senseless, she self destructs. Becker does a decent job of playing this deeply conflicted character, but the writing doesn’t allow her to display any subtlety. It’s all wear-it-on-your-sleeve angst that plays as inauthentic.

The other actors all hold their own, but it’s hard to pinpoint a standout performance.

The kernel of a wonderful story is buried in all this melodrama – Pasqualini seems capable of unearthing it with a re-write.

Through March 28 at Pacific Resident Theatre. Call .310.822-8392.

in News
Related Posts

Motional And UberEats Launch Autonomous Deliveries In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

There Are Plans For Expansion Into The Rest Of Los Angeles Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Uber Technologies...

Winston Pies Opening Third Location In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

The restaurant used to be known as ButterCrust Pies Winston Pies is staying in Santa Monica when opening their third...

Only 10 Vaquita Porpoises Survive, But The Species May Not Be Doomed

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

Hope remains for the porpoise species not only survive but thrive with human help. By Stuart Wolpert The vaquita porpoise,...

The American Cinematheque Brings “Bleak Week” To Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre And The Los Feliz Three Theatre

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

33 Films From 18 Countries In One Week. By Dolores Quintana Sometimes when things are tough and you’re feeling down,...

Man Who Murdered His Family Members Pleads Guilty To Five Other Killings

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Escobar injured an additional seven other people as well.  By Dolores Quintana A man, Ramon Escobar, has pleaded guilty to...

The price of gasoline in Los Angeles County Has Experienced The Largest Increase Since February

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Gasoline prices in Orange County Have Also Increased By Dolores Quintana Regular self-serve gasoline in the county of Los Angeles...

Santa Monica Travel Summit Of 2022 Returns To Take On Tomorrow

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

The Event Was Held At The Jonathan Club On Santa Monica Beach By Staff Writer The 2022 Santa Monica Tourism...

City Council Extends Santa Monica’s Parklet Program: Santa Monica Beat – May 16th, 2022

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* City Council Extends Santa Monica’s Parklet Program * Santa Monica High School Students...

1221 Ocean Avenue Complex Sold For Record Price

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Sold for a record price of $330 million. By Dolores Quintana The Irvine Company has sold 1221 Ocean Avenue to...

Office Construction Is Starting To Rise In Los Angeles

May 15, 2022

May 15, 2022

Property vacancies are still affecting growth.  By Dolores Quintana In March, the Los Angeles Metropolitan area had 3.2 million square...

Santa Monica City Council Selects Doug Sloan as New City Attorney

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

At its meeting this week, the Santa Monica City Council appointed Doug Sloan to serve as Santa Monica’s next City...

Landmark Theater Closing in Former Westside Pavillion

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Theater will close at the end of month By Sam Catanzaro The Landmark Pico theater at the former Westside Pavillion...

Community Policing at the Heart of Beat Four

May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022

The Neighborhood Resource Officer (NRO) Program thrives through community involvement and collective work. Today we hear from Officer Aaron Alpert...

Santa Monica High School Among Top-900 Schools in Country

May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

SAMOHI ranked 829 out of over 18,000 total schools By Staff Writer Santa Monica High School is among the top...

Pico Marketplace Changing Small Businesses Access to Retail Space: Santa Monica Beat – May 10th, 2022

May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Pico Marketplace Changing Small Businesses Access to Retail Space* Grunion Fish Seen...