September 19, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

‘Sweet Thursday’ At Pacific Resident Theatre Not So Sweet:

John Steinbeck’s 1937 novel, “Of Mice and Men” was based on a poem by Robert Burns which contained the famous quote: “The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry,” and unfortunately this sentiment can aptly be applied to Robb Derringer and Matt McKenzie’s world premiere stage adaption of John Steinbeck’s sequel to “Cannery Row,” “Sweet Thursday,” a mélange of disjointed, rambling scenes which director Matt McKenzie could not turn into a satisfying evening of theatre making it a tedious train ride to nowhere.

The narrative is a long-winded mess including a couple of puzzling song and dance numbers thrown in to further muddy the proceedings. The only saving grace are a few excellent performances by several members of the very large, uneven cast who put forth a valiant effort but with the exception of a few, were unable to overcome poor writing and directing. A very talented Jeff Doucette, who acts as the narrator and Mack, one of the guys living in the Palace Flophouse, has a strong, professional stage presence and breathed some life into the dying proceedings.

Oh yes. There is a story and it revolves around the character of Doc, a marine biologist who after serving a stint in the war, is back at his lab experimenting with a variety of sea urchins. Doc needs a new microscope that costs $100 so the guys living in the flophouse conspire to do a fundraiser to raise the amount. Doc is a lead role and unfortunately Joe McGovern is not up that challenge.

Meanwhile, back at the Bear Flag Bordello lives Fauna, the madam with a heart of gold who treats her girls kindly and even teaches them good posture by having them walk with books on their heads as well as giving them lessons in proper table manners. Suzanne Ford is a fine actress who breathes believable life into her cardboard character and wears a stunning array of period costumes designed by Audrey Eisner. Now, enter sort of sweet Suzy, who shows up in town and applies for a “job” as one of Fauna’s ladies, and in short order she and Doc develop a “thing” for each other. She eventually leaves the bordello and takes up residence in a vault. Although she gave it a noble effort, Lela Loren’s acting didn’t get much beyond line readings.

That said, other performances worthy of mention were given by Ed Levey who played the saxophone and flute as the character Whitey 2, one of the residents of the flophouse who brought comic relief with his expressive, almost rubber face, and Ericjohn Scialo who gave a sensitive performance as the not very bright, innocent Hazel.

Technically, Charles Erven’s set design maximized the limited space creating Doc’s laboratory, the Flophouse, and Fauna’s brothel.

It’s only fair in closing this review that I once again quote the great John Steinbeck: “Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard.”

Pacific Resident Theatre

703 Venice Boulevard, Venice

Run: Thursday-Sunday through Sept. 30, 2012

Reservations: 310.822.8392

Tickets: $20-$28

www.PacificResidentTheatre.com

in News
Related Posts

4.6 Quake Felt in Santa Monica

September 19, 2020

September 19, 2020

4.6 magnitude quake recorded Friday night By Sam Catanzaro A 4.6 magnitude earthquake struck the San Gabriel Valley Friday sending...

Edify TV: Miramar Santa Monica Redevelopment

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

The Santa Monica skyline may look different in the future with a major redevelopment of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel &...

‘Fresh Prince Of Bel Air’ Mansion For Rent On AirBnb

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

Today on Westside Cribz, 30th anniversary of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” Airbnb is renting out the mansion for...

SMMUSD Kindergarten Enrollment Down 20% : Santa Monica Beat – September, 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * SMMUSD Kindergarten Enrollment Down 20% * As Covid-19 Cases Drop Will...

Edify TV: Sit-down Dining Safety?

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Despite a recent CDC report stating the risks of in-person dining, many Westside restaurant patrons feel the experience is safe....

Sur La Table Closing Santa Monica Location

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

1930s building listed for lease By Sam Catanzaro Sur La Table, the popular kitchenware retail chain, is closing its downtown...

Death by Suicide at Santa Monica Place

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Man dies by suicide Wednesday morning By Sam Catanzaro A man died by suicide at Santa Monica Place mall Wednesday....

Santa Monica Partners With Local Elementary Schools to Provide More Outdoor Spaces

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Playground Partnership agreement goes live By Toi Creel The City of Santa Monica and local schools are working together to...

Charges Filed Against Man for Sexually Assaulting Elderly Victims

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Juan Victor Mendoza faces four felony charges Prosecutors have filed charges against a man for sexually assaulting elderly victims at...

COVID-19 Continues to Decrease in County but Air Quality Reducing Testing

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

Smoke advisory in effect through Wednesday By Sam Catanzaro While COVID-19 cases continue to decrease in Los Angeles County, health...

Edify TV: Westsiders Working out Amid Poor Air Quality

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

With poor air quality due to wildfire smoke, local health officials are urging the public to avoid outdoor activity but...

COVID-19 Could Have Been in Area as Early as Last December

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

UCLA study reports significant increase in coughs and acute respiratory failure prior to first official cases of COVID-19 By Sam...

Willy California Wants Men to Rethink Their Closet

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

Local clothing line reimagines athleisure By Toi Creel With ranges in styles for men’s clothing from suits and professional clothing...

Police Searching For Robbery Suspects: Santa Monica Beat – September, 14, 2020

September 14, 2020

September 14, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Police Searching For Robbery Suspects * Should School Board Representatives Have...