Written by Richard Broadhurst
Directed by Anita Khanzadian
With “New York State of Mind” playing in the background, the scene has been set for INTERACT’S production of BENCHED at the Avery Schreiber Theatre in North Hollywood. Written by playwright Richard Broadhurst, and beautifully directed by Anita Khanzadian, we meet a gruff and despondent Max who has had a routine of sitting on the same park bench every day in Central Park to eat his lunch. Today he finds “his” bench occupied by Randall, who proceeds to annoy Max, refusing to move. You see, Randall has an agenda of his own.
This synopsis is just the first 5 minutes of a terrific play. It would be extremely unfair of me to give anymore away. The twists and turns, confrontations, and comedic scenes will warm your heart, as well as make you stop and think about your own life. Many of us become cynical as we grow older, mostly because of life’s experiences. If we are lucky, we get a little push from something or somewhere that helps us realize what’s really important. It’s never too late to enjoy our lives.
The acting throughout is superb. Eddie Jones as Max, and John Towey as Randall are AMAZING. They have totally realized their characters with expert timing and acting skill, and I can’t imagine two other actors more perfect for these roles. Kelly Lohman as Katherine, and Matt Fowler as the Young Man are excellent and adeptly complete this ensemble.
Anita Khanzadian’s accomplished direction has enhanced Richard Broadhurst’s wonderful play. The set design by Joel Daavid is very effective and fantastic, along with the superb lighting design by Carol Doehring.
2012 was a tremendous year for theatre in NoHo, and this is my first review of 2013. How fantastic that the “first” play is so wonderful. You will enjoy this play, and have another fun evening in the NoHo Arts District.
Cast: Matt Fowler, Eddie Jones, Kelly Lohman, and John Towey
Producer: Alan Naggar for INTERACT Theatre Company
Director: Anita Khanzadian
Set Design: Joel Daavid
Lighting Design: Carol Doehring
Costume Design: Meagan Evers
Graphic Design: Rick Friesen
Sound Consultant: Ron Klier
Choreography: Tracy Powell
Publicist: Nora Feldman
Assoc. Producer/Box Officer Mgr: Marcy Capoferri
Lead Carpenter: Kyle Wilson
Scenic Painter: Marine Walton
Stage Manager: Ari Radousky
Avery Schreiber Theatre
11050 Magnolia Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Tickets/Info: www.interactla.org or (818) 765-8732
Runs: February 2 through March 24, 2013
Plays: Friday and Saturday at 8pm; Sunday Matinee at 3pm
Admission: $25; Senior/Student: $20
Parking: Ample street parking & nearby lot parking