February 26, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Theater Review: Loveland Lands Laughs on Loss:

“Art isn’t pretty,” says the heroine of Ann Randolph’s “Loveland,” a solo show based on personal tragedy. In this case, art is also funky, impolite, too loud, and sometimes tasteless. And yet it’s all right because aging and death are subjects that, as Randolph sees it, don’t lend themselves to greeting-card sensibilities.

“Loveland” takes place on a cross-country airline flight as we follow the thoughts of Frannie Potts, a character whose traits are anything but those of a theatre hero. She is almost obnoxiously nerdy. She grimaces and sticks her tongue out a lot. She delivers many of her lines (they’re actually her thoughts) in a high-pitched wail. She’s also very full of thoughts and feelings about sex. While you might not want to sit next to her on a plane, there’s a reason for her erratic behavior. She tells us that she “lost” her mother a few months before. But then again, as she notes, “lost” is one of those useless euphemisms for death.

Frannie’s ruminations take us into flashbacks about her life and her mother. Randolph appropriately does the voice of Agnes Potts with a similar but distinct shrillness that suggests how the daughter got the way she is. Flashback vignettes recall mother and daughter’s trip on the Palm Springs tram, singing together, the rueful day that Frannie had to put Mother in a nursing home. In between, Frannie gazes out the window at aerial views of the U.S., and enjoys fantasies about the pilot, whose voice we hear on the PA system.

The seriousness of the theme of bereavement is never far from the audience’s consciousness. In that light, Frannie’s often silly behavior and lapses into foul language and sensuality might seem really low. But audiences find themselves laughing at this show, no matter how much a tiny voice inside might be telling them it’s not appropriate. Randolph is aware of how thin the line is between comedy and tragedy.

Randolph is especially gifted at “facial gestures to sound,” a gift she also ascribes to Frannie. Her long thin face turns to rubber as she goes through all sorts of grimaces and expressions. She may be one of the rare souls who can perform a comedy pratfall with just her face.

In real life, Randolph is not only a performer and writer, but does performance-as-healing workshops. “Loveland” was her own self-healing project, conceived as a result of numerous cross-country air flights to see her parents during the last year of her father’s life. In conjunction with “Loveland,” which she is currently performing every weekend in Berkeley as well as on Thursday evenings in Santa Monica, Randolph will be doing a series of workshops on life and loss, to be held in Santa Monica, San Francisco, Esalen, and Hawaii.

For some older adults whose parents are nearing the end of their lives, “Loveland,” might strike a sensitive nerve. The play builds to a pratfall payoff that is very dark comedy indeed. But for the open-minded, the play is an entertaining chance to release the tension from taboos. And kudos also to Randolph for portraying her heroine’s sexuality without moralizing or punishment.

“Loveland,” directed by Matt Roth, plays at Santa Monica Playhouse Main Stage, 1211 4th Street, 800.838.3006 through November 18.

in News
Related Posts

(Video) Baltaire’s DJ Brunch is Ready to Make Your Weekend Fabulous

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Baltaire is America’s Favorite Neighborhood Steakhouse. A Contemporary Restaurant in Brentwood With Classic Genes, Baltaire Is Where to Enjoy Brunch...

During Lean Times for the City, Certain Staff Members Slated to Get Hefty Raises

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Proposed Equity Adjustments Raise Questions Amid Budgetary Concerns The next Santa Monica City Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday,...

Blue Bus Seeks Input on How to Improve Service

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Through Brighter Blue, Big Blue Bus Aims to Develop a Strategic Plan for Implementing System Enhancements Over Five Years Santa...

Amid Delays, House of Pies Sets New Opening Date for Venice Spot

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

For About a Year, the Development’s Construction Has Seemingly Been Inactive By Zach Armstrong House of Pies, a popular L.A....

(Video) Russian River’s Pliny the Younger 2024 at Father’s Office in Culver City

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Russian River’s Pliny the Younger 2024  at Father’s Office in Culver City. The ticket got you two pours of the...

Culinary Bliss Awaits: Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Debuts in Santa Monica

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Santa Monica Pier Welcomes the Inaugural Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Santa Monica is set to become the birthplace...

Indulge Your Cookie Cravings and Support Local Scouts: Girl Scout Cookie® Sales Now Open

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Multiple Ways to Purchase Iconic Cookies and Make a Difference You can satisfy your Girl Scout Cookie® cravings this season...

Popular Coffee & Tea Franchise Opens Another Santa Monica Spot

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

The News Comes Four Months After the Announcement of Its Third Santa Monica Outpost By Zach Armstrong Coffee Bean &...

Bruce Lurie Gallery Unveils “Give Us Our Flowers” Exhibition

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Philoche’s painting style incorporates vintage subjects to convey a tribute to the resilience of human spirit.  Bruce Lurie Gallery presents...

Portraiture Masterclass with Renowned Photographer Coming to Venice Beach

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Participants will explore the boardwalk alongside Alan, honing their creativity and engaging with the local community. Renowned photographer Alan Shapiro...

“Women in Jazz” Event at the Moss Theater to Benefit College Scholarship Program

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The Scholarship Trains Students to be Ambassadors for Antiracist Learning and Teaching Los Angeles-based jazz vocalist Amber Weekes, an alumna...

Countdown to the 30th Annual SAG Awards: Celebrating Excellence in Film and TV

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

SAG Awards Ceremony Set for Feb. 24, 2024, to be Globally Streamed on Netflix The anticipation for the 30th Annual...

“20’s/20s” Exhibit at ARCANE to Showcase Emerging Artists’ Work

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The Featured Artists Were All in Their Twenties During the 2020s ARCANE Space is set to host an exhibition showcasing...

(Video) If Not Now Los Angeles Protest at Vice President Kamala Harris’ Home in Brentwood

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The group held a Shiva or Jewish mourning ceremony as a protest. @smmirrornews If Not Now Los Angeles Protest at...

Atmospheric River Update for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Malibu for February 19

February 19, 2024

February 19, 2024

Road Closures, Mudslides, and Heaviest Rainfall of This Storm Still on the Way The City of Los Angeles intensified its...