This is the story of a young engineer and a Mojave Indian woman who find themselves on the opposite end of a very important issue-whether to build a solar energy plant over a Native American burial ground-that threatens to destroy the affair that they are having.
This is a go-for-broke, no-holds-barred, sexually-charged new play by the Fountain Theatre's Co-Artistic Director that leaves nothing behind in terms of story, direction, performance, ambiance or vision.
Sachs' language is energetic, realistic and full of insightful commentary on contemporary American male-female bonding.
The author of 13 produced plays takes important current issues such as global warming and climate change and weaves them into the intimate and personal saga of Roy and Opal.
Sachs' words are hard-hitting yet tender and courageous. We, the audience, never feel as if we do not know where the former L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award winner stands.
The dialogue here makes it abundantly clear what position Sachs is taking on climate issues politically, spiritually and morally.
Cameron Watson's direction gives the two actors so much to work with that it almost becomes a third performer on stage.
Watson's direction is not only kinetic, vibrant, electric and raw, but also brilliant in substance and style as it gives the play its edge, its very tortured and self-destructive personality.
The veteran Antaeus Theatre Company director ("Picnic," "Top Girls") brings a profound new point of view to not only this production, but the contemporary American theatre as a whole, that forces the viewer to take notice and participate in the proceedings psychologically, spiritually and often times even physically, as here where the setting is in the round. His is indeed a more licorice and lava take on the play than the usual strawberry and sunrise sweetener. It comes at a time when theatre in America can use and must welcome a brand new perspective on not only stage movement and presentation, but characterization and dialogue comprehension.
This critic, for one, hopes to see more of Watson's work on stages in Los Angeles again in the near future. His is a voice that should not be silenced.
Here he assembles a particularly stellar cast.
The sole stand out is Elizabeth Frances (Opal) who runs away with the show by embodying the fire, independence and near-tragic circumstances of the Native American character she portrays with great sensitivity, power, ferocity and fearlessness.
Frances is believable because she does not over act, over think or over load her turn.
She simply is the character, warts and all, and leaves the makeup at home.
The Cal Arts BFA and veteran Los Angeles theatre actress shines like a brand new dime mainly because she understands the complexities, dynamics and dimensions of her character through a multi-colored prism that many actresses never find.
This critic also hopes to see Frances on many more local boards again soon.
Furthering the message of the play are Jeffrey McLaughlin's innovative and eye-opening set design, Luke Moyer's lighting design, Peter Bayne's sound design and Terri A. Lewis' costume design.
All in all, "Dream Catcher" succeeds not despite its bold choices, but because of them.
The risks may not all work, but at least when they do, they send this tale of two troubled young dreamers soaring high into the stratosphere, complete with charity, faith and love.
This play surprises on just about every level, and forces you to check your morals, pet peeves and prejudices at the door.
Kudos to the Fountain Theatre for having the intestinal fortitude to tackle this politically-charged, intimately-written and bravely-realized project head on and succeed.
It proves, once more, that all is well with the little theatre that could on Fountain Avenue.
By Radomir Vojtech Luza
Saturdays at 8 p.m.;
Sundays at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.;
Mondays at 8 p.m.
Ticket Prices: $15-$34.95
Premium Seats: $34.95 (VIP Center Section, includes one free beverage)
Regular Seating: $30 (side sections)
Seniors 65 or older: $27 (side sections)
Students: $20 (valid ID required)
RUSH: $15 (at the door, 15 minutes prior to curtain, subject to availability).
Pay-What-You-Can every Monday night
Admission and Information: (323) 663-1525
The Fountain Theatre
5060 Fountain Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(Fountain at Normandie)
Secure, on-site parking: $5.