“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Divorce”

A NoHo Arts theatre review of Skypilot Theatre Company’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Divorce,” written by Jeff Gould, directed by Marc Antonio Pritchett and running at Two Road Theatre through September 11.
Laura Walker (l.), Anthony Backman, Ian Nemser, Bri Ana Wagner.

A NoHo Arts theatre review of Skypilot Theatre Company’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Divorce,” written by Jeff Gould, directed by Marc Antonio Pritchett and running at Two Road Theatre through September 11.

I’ve seen a couple of Jeff Gould’s very funny and very clever plays over the past few years, including “The Marriage Zone” and “It’s Just Sex.”  “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Divorce” is his latest opus and has just opened a Two Roads Theatre for a three-month run.

The Skypilot Theatre Company presents and the show is peopled by members of its brilliant company of actors.

Imagine,  if you will, you are in the process of a divorce.  You are summoned to the mediator’s office and then made to wait for hours as the mediator is held up by various creatively engineered disasters. And, there you are, trapped with your soon to be ex-spouse and two other couples, all in various stages of contentious and debilitating breakup. Hence, the obvious need for the mediator.  Probably the absolute last place you would want to ever be, but great for a play.


“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Divorce” is absolutely hilarious.  And given the painful and familiar subject matter and the pressures of being thrust into rather close quarters with people who couldn’t be more different from each other, much like sitting in a theatre in fact, the similarities of these disparate characters’ pain are strikingly and entertainingly obvious.

The performances are nuanced and tender, fiery and authentic, and truly excellent. What struck the the most about the stories of each couple and the wonderfully awkward empathy they have for each other was how human all these characters are. 

It’s a premise full of potential drama and hilarity of course. For a playwright, it must seem like an Aladdin’s cave of searing moments of tragedy and pathos and buffoonery. 

But the writer, Jeff Gould, does not go for the easy out. His humor is poignant and truthful and honest, his dramatic turns unexpected, purposeful and memorable and the director, Marc Antonio Pritchett, deftly guides these actors through these vividly written, and sadly aware characters on their difficult journey.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Divorce” is a deeply meaningful commentary on one of the hardest of human manoeuvres, the uncoupling.  It is a warmly wrought, pithy and very moving play slyly hidden inside a comic farce.  But isn’t it when we open ourselves up to the joke of a terrible stressful thing, when we learn the most about ourselves and each other?  

A NoHo Arts theatre review of Skypilot Theatre Company’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Divorce,” written by Jeff Gould, directed by Marc Antonio Pritchett and running at Two Road Theatre through September 11.
Bri Ana Wagner, Anthony Backman.

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Divorce” is well worth your time and an excellent reason to don a mask and brace yourselves for human interaction.  Let’s continue to support our local theatres and playwrights. For, after all, we need them as much as they need us.

Cast:

Ian Nemser, Laura Walker, Anthony Backman, Bri Ana Wagner, Corbin Timbrook and Marie Pettit.

When:

Running July 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31,

August 6, 7, 27, 28,

September 3, 4, 10, 11. S
Saturdays at 8PM andSundays at 3PM

Where:

Two Roads Theatre

4348 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604

Tickets:

https://divorce.brownpapertickets.com

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Author: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a Theatre and Food Writer and Filmmaker living in Los Angeles.