PREATOREAN LLC Productions Presents “Simpatico.” Written by Sam Shepard. Directed by Derek Long.
Running March 25 through May 5, Sundays at 8pm @ The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91423
“Simpatico” is a classic. Written by Sam Shepard and first produced in New York 1994, it’s an American drama set in California and Kentucky.
It’s centered around three characters, Vinnie, Carter and Rosie, friends who pull off a racing scam and make a lot of money. When their scam is discovered by a racing official they orchestrate seduction and blackmail to keep him quiet.
Vinnie and Rosie are married, but after the scam is over Rosie runs off with Carter to Kentucky, leaving Vinnie in California alone and heartbroken…and with all the original evidence of the scam and the blackmail. Over the years he plots his revenge.
“Simpatico” is a gorgeous piece of theatre – funny, dramatic, twisted and full of heartbreak and loneliness. Rosie and Carter live in a constant state of regret and fear. Vinnie is obsessed and twisted from years on his own, he befriends a woman from the local grocery store who he hopes will free him from his torment, but she gets caught up in it all and, as the story unfolds, we see the lines blur and the hopes for love and peace evaporate.
Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? It isn’t. It’s profound and gorgeously real. It plays with vulnerability and shame. It flips the notion that fear rules us and that money cures everything. The characters are juicy and fascinating and unexpectedly sane. But it takes bold performances and a love of noire to pull this off, and these wonderful actors do that seemingly effortlessly.
I’ve seen a few of PREATOREAN productions now and they make inspired choices. Each play feels specifically chosen for the actors within the company and it’s a very, very smart way to work. All these actors are perfect for the roles they inhabit. They move within the material with comfort and familiarity, and they are perfectly at home in the worlds they create.
It’s a long play, let’s be honest, close to three hours, which seems like a lot to handle. I did prepare, coffee, snickers bar etc. But the time seemed to fly by somehow, so intense were the performances and skillful the writing.
Any time you can seem a Sam Shepard play is a good day in my book and, when it’s given the attention and the love and the grace that this production has, it’s something to celebrate. Loved it! Bravo!
SIMMS-John William Young
(Director/Exec-Producer/Production Design)-Derek Long
(Co-Producer/Original Sound/Video/Graphic)-Ryan de Quintal
(Assistant Director/Stage Manager)-Caitlin Lowerre
(Lighting Design/ Board opp)-Derrick McDaniel
(Technical Director)-Brandon Loeser