“The Marriage Zone” at the Secret Rose Theatre in the NoHo Arts District runs through August 27.
Written & Directed by Jeff Gould
The Secret Rose Theatre
11246 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, 91601
I was fortunate enough to see Jeff Gould’s last play at The Secret Rose, “It’s Just Sex,” which was hilarious and painfully accurate. So is was with no small amount of happy anticipation that I attended the opening night of “The Marriage Zone.”
This new play by Jeff focuses on a totally different side to marriage…the slow, sad, drifting apart.
Beth and Cal are still living in the same house they bought when they first got married, with their teenage son Ryan. It’s clear that they aren’t getting a long as well as they used to and Beth thinks that by selling the house and moving to a more upscale neighborhood, although it would stretch them financially, would be the best all of them. Cal does not agree.
One evening there is a knock at the door and a young couple asks if they can look around the house. Reluctant at first, since they have no agent, Beth sees something in the couple that reminds her of how things used to be between her and Cal, so she lets them in. What happens next is a strange and compelling twist on the quandary of unexpected guests and, when there is a second knock at the door, it becomes pretty clear that this isn’t your usual living room “dramedy.”
I don’t want to give too much away, but the title “The Marriage Zone” is obviously a reference to The Twilight Zone, so let’s leave it at that.
I’ve been married for a while now, happily, but we all have our periods of doubt, or drama or even thoughts of “what the hell am I doing?” I found the play to be a very real and heartfelt glimpse into one particular couple’s life of compromise as well as love.
The cast is superb, absolutely brilliant, and they all work so effortlessly together to weave this complex and unusual tale. The writer is also the director, which is not always the most perfect arrangement. But I really couldn’t fault the play at all, so I guess it worked out pretty well in this case!
It’s a one act, which I find I like more and more, the more plays I see. Not just because of the time factor, but because a 15-minute break just does too much to take you out of the world that everyone is working so hard to build up around you. This world, “The Marriage Zone” is one that’s well worth spending some time in. I actually texted a few friends to get some tickets, and I rarely do that I can tell you!
I highly recommend “The Marriage Zone” at The Secret Rose. Don’t be afraid to take your spouse, unless you are trying to get rid of them of course, in which case I am sure you can find “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf” playing somewhere…
Anne Leighton/Rene Ashton – Beth
Jeff Pride/Kenny Johnston – Cal
Jacee Jule/ Dawn Joyal – Liz
Ales Hyde-White/Mark Sande – Mike
Meagan Barker/Britt Rose – Ellie
Ryan Cargill/Liam Donafee – Skip
Ciaran Brown/Zach Louis – Ryan
Britt Rose – Producer
Associate Producer – Patrick Baca
Set Design – Allison Schenker
Lighting Design – J. Kent Insay
Stage Manager – Shen Heckel
Box office – Bruce Thron
Publicist – Phil Sokoloff
Graphic Design – Brad Burke
The Marriage Zone runs from July 8 – August 27
Friday and Saturday at 8PM, Saturday matinee at 3PM