“MOTEL 66” Go West Theater Review

"Motel 66" Go West Night. "Stuck In The Middle With." L-R: Beccy Quinn, Raquel Brooks, Truett JeanButle. Photo by Doug Engalla.

MOTEL 66″ theater review,  the GO WEST evening. Theater is BACK in NoHo.  Welcome to a new experience at The Group Rep…The Yard, which offers live outdoor theater. 

And, we are so ready for a wonderful experience with the world premiere of 12 new one-act plays set in different cities along the infamous Route 66.  

“Motel 66” is divided into two groups on alternate evenings – HEAD EAST and GO WEST.  I was fortunate to attend both evenings.  My review today will cover the six one-act plays GO WEST.

“CREATIVE DIFFERENCES” written and directed by Tom Lazarus stars Michael Gabiano as Leonard, James Lemire as Maharis, and Troy Whitaker as Corbett.  One actor is being replaced by another in the 60s TV series “Route 66,” and producer Leonard is tasked with firing the once successful star.  As my mother once told me, “The feet you step on today, are usually connected to the ass you’ll be kissing tomorrow.”  Ah, showbiz.  

Theater Review of the Group Rep’s “Motel 66” Go West night at The Yard, the outside theater at the Lonny Chapman Theatre.
“Motel 66” Go West Night. “Somebody Else.” L-R: Patrick Skelton, Lisa McGee Mann, Stephanie Colet, Julie Davis. Photo by Doug Engalla.

“SOMEBODY ELSE” written by Fox Carney and directed by Marie Broderick stars Stephanie Colet as Caroline, Julie Davis as Sandi, Lisa McGee Mann as Jackie, and Patrick Skelton as Rod.  Sandi thinks today is the right day she is to meet Rod for their weekly tryst. But Caroline thinks it’s her day.  Then wife Jackie shows up.  Confusion with which day is which brings all the women together in the ultimate “cad-fest”.  Women always find out, and when they do, it’s not a pretty sight.

“YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE” written by Craig Holland and directed by Sascha Vanderslik stars Michele Bernath as Belle, Rishi Mehta as Kenny, and Aroon Nayer as Joe. Family always seems to give us our greatest gifts, as well as challenges.  What if we could ask the ones who have passed on what to do!  With help of his brother, and a spirit from another world, Joe finds solace to make a difficult decision.

Theater Review of the Group Rep’s “Motel 66” Go West night at The Yard, the outside theater at the Lonny Chapman Theatre.
“Motel 66” Go West night. “Saving Laura.” L-R: Jennifer Collins, Doug Haverty, Alex Brown. Photo by Doug Engalla.

“SAVING LAURA” written by James J. Cox and directed by Kathleen Delaney stars Alex Brown as Laura, Jennifer Collins as Judith, and Doug Haverty as Robert.  Facing the onset of a disaster, two teachers help young Laura find comfort in the joy of the written play.  

“A FAREWELL TO PALMS” written by Stan Mazin and directed by Stevie Stern stars James J. Cox as Steven and Lloyd Pedersen as John.  The power of love brings two middle-aged gay men to the motel where they shared many wonderful days, sharing the ups and downs of their relationship.  How do we deal with loss?  Each of us deals with it differently, don’t we?

“STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH” written by Doug Haverty and directed by Helen O’Brien stars Raquel Brooks as Faith, Truett Jean Butler as Amy, and Beccy Quinn as Nelly.  Faith, Amy and Nelly each have a key to the same room at the motel. How did that happen?  No matter.  They become fast friends realizing something very strange is going on but having loads of fun figuring it out.

“MOTEL 66” has an amazing production team with the new Yard at the Group Rep.  It’s fantastic. 

The Group Rep has really thought out how to get us back to what we love…LIVE THEATER.  Outdoors at The Yard brings all the wonderful sights, and sounds of the neighborhood. 

But, it only adds to the enjoyment, ambiance and experience. Outside on a summer night in NoHo…how great is that!? IT’S GREAT.

While my theater review only covers GO WEST, I can heartedly confirm that both evenings will definitely get you in the mood for live theater again.  Some are fun, some are emotional and thoughtful.  However, ALL 12 one-acts are worth seeing.  The Group Rep is BACK implementing up-to-the-minute Covid guidelines.  Get your kicks at “MOTEL 66” – GO WEST.

Team:

Executive Producer:  Kathleen Delaney
Producers for the Group Rep:  Brooklyn Sample and Stevie Stern
Set Design:  Bert Emmett and Chris Winfield
Costume Design: Angela M. Eads
Lighting Design:  Douglas Gabrielle
Sound:  Steve Shaw
Sound Engineering:  Sammy Strittmatter
Sound Operator: Hisato Masuyama
Stage Manager: John Ledley
Assistant Stage Managers:  Raquel Brooks and Alex Brown
Social Media/Marketing by Kristin Stancato
Photography:  Doug Engalla
Public Relations:  Nora Feldman
Box Office Manager:  Julie Davis
Ticketing Manager:  Cathy Tomlin
Graphic Design:  Art & Soul Design

Where:

The Group Rep
Lonny Chapman Theatre
10900 Burbank Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

When:

GO WEST Show Times:

Fridays & Sundays at 8:00 pm.
Extended through August 15

HEAD EAST Show Times:  

Thursdays & Saturdays at 8:00 pm.  
Extended through August 14
   

Tickets:

Tickets for one evening of shows is $20;       
Tickets for both evenings of shows is $30.

Buy tickets and information:  www.thegrouprep.com  or  (818) 763-5990

Check out the “Motel 66” HEAD EAST evening theater review>>

Cathy Wayne
Author: Cathy Wayne