Thursday, 18 February 2016 11:10

Connect @The NoHo Arts Center

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Chad Addison and Perry Smith Chad Addison and Perry Smith Photographs by Isabel Wagner

Connect, Written by Robert Lawrence Nelson
Directed by Ronnie Marmo

Connect is a play about loss and how people can ‘connect’ in ways that are very surprising for even more surprising reasons.

In this world premiere of Robert Lawrence Nelson’s drama, the dispirit worlds of the two lead characters Samantha, played beautifully by Julie Dolan, and Toby played with great depth and strength by Chad Addison, are both frozen in their lives but for very different reasons.

Samantha, the wife of a successful producer in L.A. hasn’t left her own home in months, and for reasons that unfold, loneliness, despair, fear, she decides to become a phone sex worker. Her mostly absent husband, played by the excellent Joe Dalo, has no idea of his wife’s activities and the marriage seems empty and drawn.

Toby, who has his own set of troubles, lives with his mother, played by the wonderfully terrible Perry Smith, a mother who certainly has a few troubles of her own. Their relationship teeters on the abusive, and as the play develops, we understand why.

Toby becomes a regular customer of Samantha’s and it is their unusual bond that is the center of the play.

This play is brave and a challenge to watch at times, but it certainly does not turn away from the difficult and the heartbreaking and the totally unprepared for chapters of our lives that define us.

I congratulate the writer Robert Lawrence Nelson on his ability to maintain a strong sense of reality and truth while pushing our emotional resolve to the limits. This terrific group of actors has the skill and depth to create a world where no one really touches physically, as if they are afraid that their emotional connection will evaporate if they do.

review of connect north hollywood
Chad Addison and Perry Smith

“Connect” is a play about disconnect…a play about our innate human ability to push those people away that we truly need to hold closer and how the truth of our lives is that we may never change unless we have no choice, and even then we still may not.

Sounds a bit of a downer? I can assure you it is not. There are some very funny moments and the humor is part of the truth of course. I won't spoil the revelations for you, suffice it to say that, just like real life, there are things about these characters, all four of them, that you would never ever expect to be true and how very life like and true that is.

Can we ever really know each other? Can we ever really share ourselves enough to truly connect?

review noho connect
Chad Addison and Julie Dolan

This play goes someway to explaining why we can and why we can’t.

I highly recommend “Connect” at The NoHo Arts Center, but fair warning, this is a very adult play, addressing very adult themes, so no kids!!

Connect runs at The NoHo Arts Centre from February 12th through March 13th on Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 7pm. 

Chad Addison, Perry Smith, Julie Dolan & Joe Dalo

Ronnie Marmo - Director
Isabel Wagner - Assistant Director
Brittany Rizzo - Assistant Director
Danny Cistone - Set Design
Matt Richter - Light Design
Jamison Jones - Stunt Coordinator
Thea Grabiec & Joe Capucini - Light & Sound
Sandra Kuker - Public Relations
Ray Cosico - Postcard Design
Sandra McHale - Playbill Design
Front of House - Hadas Nuriel & Elizabeth Izzo

Read 25870 times Last modified on Thursday, 18 February 2016 11:52
Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Writer, Filmmaker, Musician. Samantha has Produced over 60 short films and Written and Directed 20. She is the co-creator of 52 Films/52 Weeks and The Cinema Tribe Collective. She has written over 400 LA Theatre reviews and is partners in Xpress Records a Music Publishing Company in the UK.  This year she will be directing her first feature film which she also wrote, developing several others and is writing a children’s book. 

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