Tuesday, 31 July 2012 03:57

Theatre Review >> THE PARIS LETTER

Written by Cathy Wayne
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the GROUP rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre presents


Written by Jon Robin Baitz
Directed by Jules Aaron

When you hear that a play written by Jon Robin Baitz is currently being performed locally, your ears perk up and you want to know where. The Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood, that’s where! And the amazing Jules Aaron is directing which makes your ears perk up even more. THE PARIS LETTER has success written all over it!With decades long denial of his sexuality, Sandy Sonnenberg, performed by the wonderful Larry Eisenberg, now has to face the truth. Entangled in a disastrous financial crisis with his secret lover, Burt Sarris (the superb Alex Parker), and realizing that his clients depended on him and that he must right the wrongs that have occurred, Sandy runs away to Paris to try to work out his next steps. Sandy had his first encounter with Burt decades earlier in the 60’s, and the attraction is still strong.

Anton Kilgalien is a New York cognoscenti and long time friend of Sandy’s, and we are lucky to have him as our host and storyteller to take us through the events which lead up to current day. But we are even luckier to have the talented Lloyd Pedersen in this great role. He is absolutely superb. In a flashback, we meet Young Anton (again the great Alex Parker) and Young Sandy performed by the wonderful and talented Dan Sykes in a dual role as Sandy’s son, Sam. We see the intimacy between them, and begin to understand their relationship and how their lives developed through the years from rejection of the truth with visits to Dr. Moritz Schiffman (dual role for Larry Eisenberg) to “cure Sandy of his homosexuality”. In the 60’s, being “gay” meant you could marry and have children, and that would “demonstrate” that you were straight. To round out this wonderful cast, the always terrific Julia Silverman plays Katie Arlen (who Sandy marries) and Lillian Sonnenberg, Sandy’s mother, as well as Paul Cady as the waiter. Each and every member of this remarkable cast is FANTASTIC. They are all wonderful actors.

Jules Aaron, once again, has given us his expertise and talent, guiding the actors through this well written play. Set Design, Lighting, Costumes, Sound, Stage Managing, you name it. All of these make this production a must see, and one not to be missed.

For those of you familiar with Jon Robin Baitz, you don’t need any further encouragement. For those of you who are not: Baitz is recognized as one of the foremost playwrights. To name just a few…1987 off-Broadway production with Nathan Lane of THE FILM SOCIETY, and in 1991 wrote/directed the two-character play THREE HOTELS, both of which earned him Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding New Play; a Tony nomination, plus numerous additional stage credits. In 1996, he was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for his semi-autobiographical play A FAIR COUNTRY. And, 2004 creator of TV’s BROTHERS & SISTERS. Need there be any more accolades?

THE PARIS LETTER takes us to a time when being gay was kept quiet and covered up. It was the “don’t ask, don’t tell” syndrome. Being honest and secure with oneself, understanding our own identity, becoming self aware, and having the “right to choose” our own life’s path. I love this play. CONTAINS NUDITY. MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY.


Cast: Paul Cady, Larry Eisenberg, Alex Parker, Lloyd Pedersen, Julia Silverman and Dan Sykes.
Director: Jules Aaron
Assistant Director: Sherry Netherland
Producer for the Group rep: Patrick Burke
Stage Manager: Matias Ponce
Set Design: Chris Winfield
Lighting Design: J. Kent Inasy
Costume Design: Liz Nankin
Sound Design: Steve Shaw
Original Music: Max Kinberg
Lightboard: Jimmy Ogburn
Prop Mistress: Michele Bernath
Running Crew: Emily Doyle, Heliana Martinez
Public Relations: Nora Feldman
Graphic Design: Doug Haverty – art & soul design
Program: Sherry Netherland

The Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre
10900 Burbank Boulevard
North Hollywood, CA 91601

July 20 – September 2, 2012
Friday, July 20th at 8pm
Talkbacks after show: August 5th & August 19th
Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 2pm

Tickets/Reservations: www.thegrouprep.com or 818.763.5990

Tickets: $15 - $22 (Admission: $22; Senior/Student: $17; Group 10+: $15)
Friday Night Ladies Night – Tix ½ price for ladies

Running Time: Two hours plus one intermission

Parking: Ample street parking and early-bird lot parking available.

CONTAINS NUDITY/ Mature audiences only

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