Yet another first for me! The Road Theatre on Lankershim, a gorgeous little 2nd floor theatre, tucked away like a special secret.
But with a play like Mud Blue Sky, we can be assured that secret will be safe no more.
Set in an airport hotel room, Mud Blue Sky offers us a glimpse into the world of middle aged air stewardesses in between flights. Sounds an odd subject for a play I agree, but take a few disparate characters, throw in some booze, some boredom and a little pot and it's a recipe for brilliant comedic writing.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing predictable here, nothing trite. These women, one hovering on the edge of early retirement, one already trying on a new life and missing her old one and the other desperately holding on to her youth, are anything but average and everything that’s normal. It's the honesty that works here, the painful, blissful truth.
On a work layover, the central character Beth, played by the genius Carlyle King, calls up her teenage pot dealer for a little something to help her relax, and to dull the pain in her work-induced, spasming back. The dealer Jonathan, played just wonderfully on the night I saw the play by Adam Farrabee (two actors share this role), shows up in his high school prom tux, after being jilted by his prom date. Beth’s tenacious co-worker Sam, played with unwavering brilliance by Whitney Dylan, crashes the party, bringing with her our third character Angie, and ex-stewardess, fired for gaining weight and eager to relieve the boredom of her new life, played by the amazingly funny and warm Amy Tolsky.
So there you have it, four people in a hotel room, a bottle of brandy, a little pot and an innocent boy. What could go wrong?
Well absolutely nothing actually. This is a brilliant play, funny, warm and just wise enough, and played magnificently by these three fantastic actresses, truly, and one fantastic young actor.
The audience, including myself, laughed out loud throughout, and with good reason. The set was wonderful, the direction perfection, and the entire production so memorable I keep getting flashbacks!
How refreshing it is to see a play with a mostly female cast and with such humor and poignance without anything huge happening. No deaths, no marriages, no terrible secrets revealed, and yet everything that did happen seemed more important than any of that somehow. It reminded me of when I spend time with my dearest friends, and we have a couple of glasses of wine and just talk and laugh and solve each others problems..familiar and real and wonderful.
I highly recommend Mud Blue Sky, It is a play so finely crafted and expertly played that you feel as if you have spent time with wonderful old friends and been included in the resolution of their lives, or at least a small part of them.
One short layover in a bland airport hotel, a little too much brandy and just the right amount of truth…Brilliant.
April 10 – May 30
Fri and Sat at 8PM, Sun at 2PM
The Road on Lankershim
Lankershim Arts Center
5108 Lankershim Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 916011
Beth - Carlyle King,
Sam- Whitney Dylan
Angie - Amy Tolsky,
Jonathan - Alex Smith
Jonathan - Adam Farabee
Assistant Director - Hallie Cooper
Lighting Design - Derrick McDaniel
Set Design - Stephen Gifford
Costume Design - Sara Ryung Clement
Sound Design - David B Marling
Stage Manager - Tony Carnage