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“Just Like Life” Refreshed or Just… ?

Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017

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Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017By Ernest Kearney — Director/writer/set designer Donovan Glover won the 1991 UCLA Best-New-Play-of-the-Year Award for this work and at times Just Like Life certainly feels like the work of a neophyte – absurdist themes are the “training wheels” of choice for all greenhorn bards.

In a whitewashed room with a white fridge, white sink, white porcelain toilet center stage and white everything else; Hey-Zeus (Greg Pittenger) frantically scrubs the white tiled floor with his toothbrush as his doting Quote Mamma (Karissa McKinney) watches.

She tells us, “To live in clean is to live in perpetual orgasms.”

Their lives are a cycle of repetitions and restated experience echoing impotent frustration and mindless obliviousness.  So far, we have shades of Godot, No Exit and Old Dad, Poor Dad….

But when the red-tie’d Savior (Maria McCann) surges onto the scene like a Tasmanian devil in hyper-drive things begin to get interesting.

Scatological, but interesting.

Glover proceeds to deconstruct this piece with the demonical delight of a whole detachment of demented “deplorables.”

Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolutionPittenger and McKinney are excellent as the hapless “two tramps” of the piece, but McCann is the whip hand here, capering about dispensing a creed of chaos that makes converts of Hey-Zeus and Quote Mamma while annihilating the purity of their compact and self-contained ecosystem; even though in the final analysis changing nothing for them.

Just like life.

For all involved a GOLD MEDAL.

 

♦    ♦    ♦

 

Just Like Life

Two Fringe 2017 Performances Left

Friday June 23, 2017 — 6:00 pm

Sunday June 25, 2017 — 2:00 pm

Where:

Lounge Theatre (Lounge 2)
6201 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

For Tickets and Information:

http://hff17.com/4574

 


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An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, Among the Vipers was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist three times in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. After a wild and misspent youth, which lasted well into middle age, Kearney has settled down and is focusing on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. Ernest's stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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