"Happy Hour" is a new, very funny and cuttingly truthful play written by the very talented Tracey McClain and Zach Drummer.
Set in a bar at the end of the day, we meet two best friends, Mac, played by the very excellent Ken Breese, and Bobby, played by the hilarious and bushy bearded Jacob Lyle as they catch up and get excited about the happy hour menu…cocktails and bar food. They are soon joined by Mac’s fiancee, Lauren, played by the brilliantly sour Danielle Motley, who has been attending a work meeting/drinks nearby and crashes the boys get together to talk wedding arrangements and add to her previous meeting’s ‘wine only’ with cocktails, pizza and shots.
Mac has arranged to meet up with Bobby in order to ask him to be his best man, but Lauren, already a little sloshed, rather obnoxiously spills the beans soon after she arrives, thus setting the rather adversarial tone for the evening.
Bobby fancies the waitress Sam, played by the quietly brilliant Moira O’Neal, and starts up a conversation with their neighboring table’s single occupant Larkspur, played by the enchanting Susan Kohler, an older woman waiting for her friends to celebrate her birthday… they never show.
So the scene is set. One couple engaged, unhappy and seething with mutual resentment. The friend, trying to enjoy being single and not succeeding, the older and wiser stranger, confused by the millennial’s stressy, loud and often rude behavior, and the waitress, busy, tired and sick of being overlooked.
Larkspur’s observations and charm seem to have an effect quite the opposite of what she intends, at least for the ‘happy’ couple. Their relationship deteriorates into abuse, as relationships sometimes do, and chaos ensues.
This is a very funny play. Full of bruising observations and clever asides.
It’s a wonder that these three are friends at all. Although when friends get together and drink, what might seem like banter can quickly get out of control. But if the theme of the evening is ‘I’m just being honest’ in the end it’s the hopeful that triumph and the couple careening toward the alter that may get their wake up call.
It’s a great play and the fun is added to by the fact that you can, in fact, actually bring drinks into the show…a cocktail, a beer, some wine…and some deeply regretful millennial epiphanies…perfection!
I highly recommend “Happy Hour,” but don’t dawdle…it’s only running through October 29th on Sundays, 6:30 PM drinks, 7 PM show at the Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91423.
Ken Breese - Mac
Danielle Motley - Lauren
Susan Kohler - Larkspur
Jacob Lyle - Bobby
Moira O'Neill - Sam the Waitress