Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chimichangas and Zoloft **

(Please click on the title to read the entire review.)
In the unlikely event that I remember this Atlantic Stage 2 production by Fernanda Coppel at all a year from now, it will be as the play that begins with a fart. The characters are two 15-year old best friends, Penelope Lopez (Xochitl Romero) and Jackie Martinez (Carmen Zilles); their fathers Alejandro Lopez (Alfredo Narciso), a bartender, and Ricardo Martinez (Teddy Cañez), an attorney; and the extremely depressed Sonia Martinez (Zabryna Guevara), who is taking a vacation from the roles of wife and mother. Except for a very brief scene near play's end, Sonia is presented only through a series of overwritten monologues. The teenagers address each other as "dude" with annoying frequency. Their fathers are hiding a sexual secret which is less of a secret than they suppose. The reason that Penelope has no mother is never explained. Each scene begins with a rather pointless projected title. Setting the play in a Mexican-American L.A. neighborhood gives it a bit of ethnic flavor, but the situations are not particular to any community. The ending of the play is so low key that I didn't realize it was over. The play is not without interest, but simply doesn't seem ready for public viewing. Jaime Castañeda directed. Running time: 90 minutes without intermission. Note: Atlantic Stage 2 is not an audience-friendly theater. Some of the rows are not staggered. Avoid seats in Row A, because there is a Row AA in front of it and no rake. Since the stage, unlike most theaters, is not elevated, it is often hard to see the actors.

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