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  • gilwilson 3:28 PM on January 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    “This Is Our Youth” By Kenneth Lonergan 

    “This Is Our Youth”
    By Kenneth Lonergan
    Narrated by: Mark Ruffalo, Missy Yager, Josh Hamilton
    Length: 1 hr and 41 mins
    Published September 25th 2009 by LA Theatre Works

    This almost could have been me. I was a teen in the Reagan 80s, and well smoking pot was the thing to do. I didn’t live in a big city, my dad wasn’t rich and well, I guess maybe this couldn’t have been me. I never got the chance to steal $15k from my dad when he kicked me out, Instead I joined the Navy. It’s official, nope not me.

    However I do know these people in this play. But first let’s talk about the actors in this performance from L.A. Theatre Works. This is Mark Ruffalo before he was the Incredible Hulk in those Marvel movies. In fact, this production is a reunion of sorts. The original cast from the off broadway original production got back together with the original director to do this show for LATW. I’m sure that when originally performed back in 1996 the actors were closer to the age of the teenagers they portrayed than when getting back together for this performance, but I can tell you that they seemed to fit right back in with those characters.

    Warren (played by Ruffalo) is kicked out of his rich dad’s house. To get revenge he steals $15,000 from his dad and heads to his friend, Dennis’ apartment. The two potsmokers decide they need to get the money back, but Warren has already spent a sizable chunk of the cash. Now they need to get back the money so they can sneak the original amount back into Warren’s dads house. The plan is to buy some cocaine and sell enough to make back their money plus the missing amount and do the rest themselves.

    While Dennis is out getting the coke, Warren gets a visit from Jessica. Jessic and Warren take another chunk of the money and party on the town, even renting out a ritzy hotel room. This just makes it harder to make the money back so the scheming begins.

    I strongly feel this play could be performed even today and still be relevant. If you want a cool theatre audio experience this would be a great choice. If you want to perform a play touching out today’s youth, this play would still be a great choice.

    Once again LATW has brought to life a play to the audio audience that will put you in the middle of the performance.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Starring Mark Ruffalo, Josh Hamilton and Missy Yager, the original cast was reunited for this exclusive L.A. Theatre Works performance of This is Our Youth.
    In 1982, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, three pot-smoking teenagers are resoundingly rejecting the 1960s ideals of their affluent parents. In hilarious and bittersweet detail, This is Our Youth follows 48 turbulent hours in the lives of three very lost souls at the dawn of the Reagan Era.
    ©2009 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2009 L.A. Theatre Works

  • gilwilson 4:05 PM on January 22, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    “The Explorers Club” By Nell Benjamin 

    The Explorers Club
    By: Nell Benjamin
    Narrated by: Jennifer Westfeldt, David Furr, Lorenzo Pisoni, Carson Elrod, John Getz, Martin Jarvis, David Krumholtz, Matthew Wolf
    Length: 1 hr and 56 mins
    Published June 15th 2014 by LA Theatre Works

    I did not expect this to be funny, I was thinking it was some sort of historical play from L.A. Theatre Works. Maybe it was in a way, but I found myself laughing out loud several times and thoroughly enjoyed this performance.

    The gist of the play is that it is the late 1800s and a group of snooty explorers have their lodge to go and smoke cigars and drink brandy, oh, and brag about their adventures. (This play also had me craving cigars and brandy.) The traditions are rattled when Phyllida Spotte-Hume wants to join. A woman? A woman in the he-man women hater’s club? It is hilarious when they send her out of the room to have cigars and brandy (one of the many times) and to discuss whether she should be allowed. She keeps stepping in talking about how boring the hallway is. This section of the performance had a very Monty Python feel to it and I found some great belly laughs during this scene.

    Phyllida has discovered a lost tribe and has brought a male representative to meet the Queen and to back her findings to get into the club. Well the native is allowed to have cigars and brandy, not Phyllida because she is a woman.

    Soon the mayhem begins with the native striking the Queen as she offers her hand to help the bowing native. Can the Explorer’s club survive? Well one of the members is out to find the East and West poles, so there’s that.

    Do yourself a favor and at the very least listen to this audio performance of “The Explorer’s Club.” A really good live performance would be preferred, but as with all other LATW productions, this one is the next best thing to being in the audience.

    Publisher’s Summary

    It’s London, 1879, and the hapless members of the Explorers Club must confront their most lethal threat yet: the admission of a woman into their hermetically-sealed ranks. But the intrepid Phyllida Spotte-Hume turns out to be the least of their troubles, in this hilarious farce starring members of the original Broadway cast.

    An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Jack Cutmore-Scott, Carson Elrod, David Furr, John Getz, Martin Jarvis, David Krumholtz, Lorenzo Pisoni, Jennifer Westfeldt, Matthew Wolf. Directed by Kate McAll. Music composed and orchestrated by Laurence O’Keefe. Recordings produced by Mike Croiter and Laurence O’Keefe at Yellow Sound Lab for L.A. Theatre Works. Includes a conversation with essayist, novelist, and cultural critic Eileen Pollack.

    The Explorers Club is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

    ©2013 Nell Benjamin (P)2014 L.A. Theatre Works

  • gilwilson 3:27 PM on January 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    “The Busy World Is Hushed” By Keith Bunin 

    “The Busy World Is Hushed”
    By Keith Bunin
    Narrated by: Jill Clayburgh, Hamish Linklater, Luke Macfarlane
    Length: 1 hr and 48 mins
    Published October 1st 2007 by LA Theatre Works (first published January 31st 2007)

    There is a lot unfolding in this play. Religion and relationships seem to be the biggest so I’m going to try to focus on those, however there are a few other topics/feelings/philosophy that I may touch on. Just keep in mind this is a very heady play. I’m probably going to revisit this one soon. Next time I may read the hard copy of the play rather than listen to a performance, but only because there is so much to absorb.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with this audio production. Of course it is an L.A. Theatre Works production, and I don’t recall ever hearing a bad production from them. The actors are always top notch and the production places the listener right in the middle of the audience. This time around the performance features two of my new favorite actors, Hamish Linklater (I became a fan of his after watching the series “Legion”) and Luke Macfarlane (I bacame a fan of his after watching “Killjoys”). I don’t think I ever thought I would picture them doing a love scene together, but surprises are good. Okay it wasn’t a love scene but rather an intimacy scene.

    This play is full of ups and downs on the emotional rollercoaster and very smart conversations on religion. Jill Clayburgh plays Hannah a minister researching the gospels. She’s working on a translation when she hires an assistant, Brant (played by Linklater). Brant notices her work needs some organizing, she doesn’t even have bookshelves, and is pretty much hired on the spot. A relationship between Brant and Thomas, Hannah’s son (played by Macfarlane). In what in actuality is really a pretty short play, some intense conversations about life, love, religion and purpose are discussed.

    My only problem with this play is that it was too short. I was left with a feeling of “Is that all?” But at the same time I enjoyed the conversations and the level of intellect those conversations covered in the play. I would say that there were at least 30 plays that could be developed out of the many topics this one play covers, and I just wanted more.

    Publisher’s Summary

    With wisdom, humor and insight, The Busy World Is Hushed examines the contradictions we find in our faith, our families, and ourselves. Hannah, a widowed Episcopal minister, is hoping to translate a long-lost gospel when she is challenged by both her scholarly assistant and her wayward gay son. But when family secrets are revealed, only the intercession of a stranger can help Hannah find peace.

    (P)2007 L.A. Theater Works

  • gilwilson 4:17 PM on January 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    “Stick Fly” By Lydia Diamond 

    Stick Fly

    By: Lydia Diamond

    Narrated by: Justine Bateman, Dule Hill, Michole Briana White, et. al.

    Length: 1 hr and 50 mins
    Published February 1st 2008 by LA Theatre Works

    In my latest trend of reading/listening to plays I’ve been trying to find some that are timely and have a theme that would reflect the current themes we’ve been forced too endure for the wreck of a year that was 2020. One of those themes is race relations. This play at first seemed to cover this but had a bit of a twist. The race relations are within a single upper-class African-American family. It wasn’t quite what I was looking for but it was entertaining none-the-less.

    One of the features of this performance that kept me going even though I soon discovered it wasn’t what I was looking for was that it was yet another example of the outstanding productions from L.A. Theatre Works. The actors are top notch and the production once again will place the listener in the middle of the audience in a great theatrical performance.

    I think one of the funniest parts is that one of the brothers (Flip) brings his girlfriend to the family home and before she arrives tells everyone she’s Italian. I got the feeling that Flip was a bit conscientious about the fact his girlfriend is white, so to prepare the family he keeps saying she is Italian when someone says she’s white. Flip’s family members are all highly education people and when the girlfriend arrives, they all speak to her in Italian. This makes for an awkward hilarious scene.

    As for the rest of the story, it finds that there is more to the family than the surface reveals. Strap in for the second half, that’s when all secrets are revealed and well I kinda wonder whether this family is strong enough to endure the devastating secrets. I won’t go into too much detail because of spoilers, and I really think this play needs to be experienced for one’s self not just a simple review/summary.

    Review: entertaining, funny, tragic and worth the two hours spent listening.

    Publisher’s Summary

    How well do you know your family? Your social class? Your race? Sensitive “Spoon” LeVay and his brother “Flip” see their weekend at the family home on Martha’s Vineyard as a perfect opportunity to introduce their girlfriends to their upper class African American parents. Instead they stumble into a domestic powder keg that exposes secrets of prejudice, hypocrisy, and adultery. This fantastic new play comes from the pen of one of the country’s most provocative new playwrights!

    ©2007 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2007 L.A. Theatre Works

  • gilwilson 3:06 PM on December 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Steel Magnolias” By Robert Harling 

    Steel Magnolias

    By: Robert Harling

    Performed by: Frances Fisher, Shannon Holt, Amy Pietz, Brittany Snow, Jocelyn Towne, Josh Clark, Jeanie Hackett

    Length: 1 hr and 51 mins

    Published January 13th 2016 by L.A. Theatre Works

    (first published January 1st 1988)

    I normally don’t re-read a book or play. Every so often I may re-visit a classic just to see how it (or I) has aged. Some of the time I pick up something new or intriguing that I missed before, especially if it is one of those classics we HAD to read in school, I missed a lot in those because most of the time I faked it or skimmed over it.

    I’m not sure if I would call this play a classic yet, but maybe it is, but I saw the movie (different ending than the play, fyi) and read the play back in college. I saw this on my list of plays I had made for myself to look over and kept passing over it, because, well, I thought I had got what I was going to get out of it already. I found out that was not the case. In the past I had really just taken it in as an ensemble cast and just thought this was a bunch of women in the south and how their lives were interlinked. It is that but really there is more.

    Having a son that has Type 1 diabetes, this time around I really focused in on the character of Shelby. I also have worked in a number of years now since first reading this play and the focus of the radio Shelby brings into the salon grabbed my attention. I soon put together how the two were related.

    The author of this play actually wrote the play after the death of his sister due to complications of diabetes while she gave birth. I found that early in the play when Shelby brings in the radio she is relatively healthy and fine, the radio works fine. Later as she decides to have a baby even though there are risks for a diabetic the radio kinda fades in and out. Finally the radio goes out. (stopping here due to spoilers). So with that all in mind this play came from a different angle to hit me emotionally that I wasn’t expecting.

    In summary; go ahead and re-read those stories, you never know how it will affect you the second or third time around.

    By the way, this was yet another great performance/production from L.A. Theatre Works. They really do put you right into the audience.

    Publisher’s Summary

    Within the walls of Truvy’s beauty shop are six women whose lives increasingly hinge on the existence of one another. Together, they absorb the passing seasons, just like the weathered wooden structure of the salon “home” that they share.

    An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast production, starring Frances Fisher, Jeanie Hackett, Shannon Holt, Amy Pietz, Brittany Snow, and Jocelyn Towne. Additional voices by Josh Clark. Directed by Jessica Kubzansky and recorded before an audience by L.A. Theatre Works.

    ©1987 Robert Harling (P)2015 L.A. Theatre Works

  • gilwilson 5:10 PM on December 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Please Continue” By Frank Basloe 

    “Please Continue”

    By Frank Basloe

    Performed by: Tara Lynne Barr, Will Brittain, Jake Green, Taj Jegaraj, Rob Morrow, James Scully, Mark Jude Sullivan, Matthew Wolf

    Length: 1 hr and 53 mins

    Published April 4th 2019 by L.A. Theatre Works

    Well, it looks like I’m going to be closing out 2020 with a bunch of plays. Not a bad way to end a bad year. This time around it is “Please Continue” by Frank Basloe. This play tells the tale of psychologist Stanley Milgram’s studies/experiments on obedience in the 60s.

    The gist of the studies/experiments is that a student is told to administer an electric shock to a student when a wrong answer is given. The shocks become more powerful as more wrong answers are given. With the test subject screaming in pain in the next room, the actual test subject is told to, “Please Continue” if they hesitate on giving the next shock. These experiments really do expose a lot about the human psyche.

    This play also weaves in the story of Francis, a grad student assigned to Milgram who was involved in a gang rape of a 14 year old girl at his previous college. Francis was not named in the hearing on that case but he knows he took part. As he is conducting the experiments for Milgram his guilt is triggered and comes to the surface. He seeks out the advice from a local clergy who convinces Francis to seek out atonement not forgiveness. That is the big hole in this performance. We never really find out what that atonement is or whether it was the right advice.

    That lack of finality in the story really left me hanging in the story and pretty much ruined the entire play for me. Something was just missing. The performance and production were high quality, it’s just that the story was missing something, some closure. Otherwise it was pretty interesting to hear the outcome of the original experiments where other humans were prone to keep administering the punishment no matter how guilty they started to feel. I think this could have been explored more and just leave out Francis’ story. At one point in the play there is the statement where the men of Yale would of course keep punishing their fellow students, because they are self-centered seekers of power. (I paraphrased, but that’s the gist of it.) So was it human nature or just the nature of certain humans attracted to the idea of becoming a “Yale Man”?

    Publisher’s Summary

    Based on the true story of renowned social psychologist Stanley Milgram, Please Continue recounts the infamous obedience experiments at Yale in the 1960s. In that study, participants were asked to administer strong electric shocks to a subject who gave the wrong answer to a question, not knowing that the shocks were fake, and they were the real subject of the study. The play examines how the experiments gave insight into the nature of authoritarianism and individual morality.

    Includes an interview about science and ethics with Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, a Professor of Education at the Rossier School of Education, a Professor of Psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute, and a member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program Faculty at the University of Southern California.

    Please Continue is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, bridging science and the arts in the modern world.

    Directed by Rosalind Ayres.

    An L.A. Theatre Works full cast performance featuring:

    Tara Lynne Barr as Margaret Hopson

    Will Brittain as James Sanders

    Jake Green as Saul Dashoff

    Taj Jegaraj as Harold Burden

    Rob Morrow as Reverend William Sloane Coffin, Jr.

    James Scully as Mitchell Halverson III

    Mark Jude Sullivan as Francis Dunleavy

    Matthew Wolf as Dr. Stanley Milgram

    Sound Effects Artist: Jeff Gardner. Script Supervisor, Nikki Hyde. Music Supervisor, Ronn Lipkin. Associate Artistic Director, Anna Lyse Erikson. Recording Engineer, Sound Designer and Editor, Erick Cifuentes. Mixed by Mark Holden for The Invisible Studios, West Hollywood.

    Recorded at The Invisible Studios, West Hollywood.

    ©2019 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2019 L.A. Theatre Works

  • gilwilson 3:19 PM on December 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Of One Blood” by Andrew White 

    “Of One Blood”

    by Andrew White

    Narrated by: David Schwimmer, Lee Arenberg, John Cothran Jr., Judyann Elder, Arye Gross, Valerie Landsburg, Macon McCalman

    Length: 1 hr and 23 mins

    Published November 1st 2009 by L.A. Theatre Works

    So what is the difference between today’s civil rights movement and the civil rights movement of the 60s? I think the best answer is that today we are just tired of it. Years have gone by, voices have shouted, been shouted down and even silenced through violence but has anything really been done? Yes and No. At least now we don’t have separate water fountains, bus seats and schools, so yeah progress has been made. Has it been enough? I grew up in the south and know firsthand that up until the mid 80s racism was still the norm (that’s when I moved to the midwest U.S. and can’t provide the firsthand experience for what goes on now).

    I have lived throughout the south during the 70s and 80s (Montgomery, AL, Yazoo City, MS, Meridian, MS, et. al.) In Yazoo City, MS in the early 80s they still had seperate school buses for blacks and whites. Same pickup location same dropoff location, just different races allowed. I found this out by accidentally getting on the “black” bus my first day. One guy said I was on the wrong bus, but not in a threatening manner, but once I arrived at the school and was the white boy on the black bus, I was shunned by nearly all whites at that school from then on. In Montgomery, AL a black student (friend of mine) was called “boy” and physically abused by a science teacher, when we brought this up to the principal, he simply said he was sure we were mistaken. When my black friend left the principal told me that I should keep my northern attitude back up north while attending Jefferson Davis High School. We held a protest only a few kids showed up but it got nowhere. So yeah the civil rights movement of the 60s did great in the north but the south stays the same.

    To this day I shed a few tears and get lumps in my throat when I hear of all this still going on. This play I knew was gonna be sad, but it should be. In this play the author mixes some poetic moments with historical moments to create what really should be an eye opener. The three civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner (2 Jews and a Black) weren’t rabble rousers, they were only talking with people and gathering evidence about a church burning. The folks in Mississippi simply saw anyone who worked with blacks and blacks themselves as creatures not worth living. There were numerous people that could have helped and saved these 3 young mens lives, instead the south is gonna south. This play not just covers their historical deaths, but also seeks to show them as simple human beings just wanting to stop the senseless violence in a non-violent way.

    I really think this play should be added as part of middle school or at least high school curriculum. The lessons learned are needed today, probably more so.

    There isn’t one person today that can say racism is dead. All you have to do is drive through the south or heck, even in the midwest we have idiots waving their confederate flags, knowing full well how racist that flag is. That flag represents a sect that wanted blacks to remain slaves and never be treated as human beings. That flag also represents a country that lost a war. That is not the only similarity shared with the Nazi flag.

    I heard a black comedian once say that the confederate flag is very useful, it tells him what businesses or homes not to enter.

    I will once again highly recommend this L.A. Theatre works production of this play. The actors make this reality even more real.

    Publisher’s Summary

    Of One Blood is a poignant and disturbing play about the infamous murder of three civil rights workers – James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner – in Mississippi in 1964.

    ©2009 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2009 L.A. Theatre Works

  • gilwilson 4:51 PM on December 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Moving Bodies” By Arthur Giron 

    Moving Bodies
    By: Arthur Giron
    Narrated by: Alfred Molina, Mark Harelik, Jenny O’Hara, Kathryn Hahn
    Length: 1 hr and 57 mins
    Published February 1st 2008 by LA Theatre Works

    Yes I’m still on my reading plays kick/play research. This one intrigued me first because the actor Alfred Molina (Doc Ock from the Spider-Man movie). I love his work and will pretty much stop all I’m doing to watch a movie with him. Seeing he is cast as the lead role in this was what locked in this play in my sites. The second thing is that it involves science and physics. I have a secret passion for physics while never practicing I love the concepts and that all answers can be arrived at through physics. Yes all, but I don’t have time to explain that right now.

    So being another LA Theatre Works production was the third factor which cemented that this play was one I had to hear in audiobook form. Once again LATW have the perfect production/performance and with the cast in this one, definitely worth absorbing. If you’ve never read one of my reviews of a LATW production, the casts are always great, the sound production is so perfect that if you close your eyes you are placed right smack dab in the middle of the live performance. My advice to you, never turn down a LATW production.

    So about this play. This play follows the life of Nobel Prize winner, Richard Feynman. Feynman was instrumental in the creation of the atomic bomb and was the witness for the space shuttle Challenger disaster investigation. In fact Feynman was the one to actually discover and demonstrate that the O-rings were the culprit in the explosion.

    Through out the play we discover many interesting aspects of Feynman’s life, such as his dad was an amateur scientist and is the one that led Richard Feynman and his sister to become scientists. There are several humorous moments in the play that make a play about science a bit easier for those to follow who aren’t necessarily nerdy about science. In fact Richard Fineman was well-known to be a practical joker. I’m pretty sure that can also be attributed to his father.

    After the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Feynman regretted that he was responsible for so many deaths and this affected his life in many ways. This play explores all that and more. Arthur Giron captured a life worth learning about and more in a mere 2 hours.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Moving Bodies is a chronicle of the brilliant life of Nobel Prize-winning scientist Richard Feynman. From his role in the development of the atomic bomb to his controversial testimony at the investigation of the Challenger disaster, Feynman casts a long shadow across the worlds of physics and mathematics. Through playwright Arthur Giron’s eyes, we see how Feynman became one of the most important scientists of our time.

    Includes a bonus feature with Ralph Leighton, the co-author of Richard Feynman’s “Surely You’re Joking, Mister Feynman!”, a best-selling collection of autobiographical stories and reminiscences.

    An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Emily Bergl, Jessica Chastain, Jill Gascoine, Matthew Gaydos, Harry Groener, Arye Gross, Kathryn Hahn, Mark Harelick, Katharine Leonard, Mary McGowan, Alec Medlock, Alfred Molina, Jenny O’Hara, Raphael Sbarge, Joe Spano and John Vickery.

    Moving Bodies is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

    ©2008 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2008 L.A. Theatre Works

  • gilwilson 3:36 PM on December 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Puffs the Play: or 7 Increasingly Eventful Years At A Certain School of Magic and Magic” by Matt Cox 

    “Puffs the Play: or 7 Increasingly Eventful Years At A Certain School of Magic and Magic”

    by Matt Cox

    Publisher : Independently published (December 10, 2018)

    Paperback : 132 pages

    I’m still reading a bunch of plays for “reasons.” But this play I’m reading for another reason. That reason is; a couple of years ago our local college/community theatre performed this play. I wanted to be in the play but I was just simply too old to be in the cast. The play doesn’t require the young to play the parts, but in order to be consistent it is good for the director to keep the cast within the same age range. They are all playing kids from ages 10-18 years old. So I didn’t pass the audition. I wonder if it was because I wouldn’t shave my Van Dyke beard. My son got a part in the show, so I was happy and went to all 4 performances.

    So this play is what happened to the other kids at that famous school for wizards and magic. The Puffs. The student’s who were going for third place or nothing (out of 4) Basically this was like the “Breakfast Club” but nerdier, more pitiful at times, and waaaaayyyyy funnier. The one thing I completely enjoyed about this play is the allowance for or rather demand for improv moments. I love Improv and love watching it done right. The actor I saw play the character of Zach Smith was so funny. Each performance he had a different improv for his big improv moment. One of the nights he managed to sum up the last 2 years worth of performances at the college/community theatre into one story that just had me rolling.

    If you are a fan of those Harry Potter books, please do yourself a favor and either read this script or go find a performance of this play. The inside jokes are worth the price of admission alone. Matt Cox is a fan of the wizarding series and especially a fan of the 90s. This comes to fruition in this play that is chock full of fun, pop-culture references that is sure to keep any audience entertained. The copy I read and the one I saw performed had some language that may restrict where the play is performed, however, I understand Matt Cox has written a younger version of the play in order to make it safe for all ages.

    Matt Cox not only has written a funny pop-culture play, but he creates characters that drag you into the story more so than J.K. Rowling. When reading the original books, there were times I would just say these kids are stupid. But in Matt Cox’s play I was involved. I wanted to know what they were doing at all times, especially the 3 main characters; Oliver, Megan, and Wayne. In fact throughout the play there were times when I had tears in my eyes from laughter and I was thankful because a scene or 2 later there would be tears from sadness and I didn’t want to seem like a crybaby.

    My experience after watching 4 performances and now reading this play is one I will cherish. I was moved several times between laughing out loud to drying the tears from sadness. After talking with the cast of this show (besides my son, there were many in the cast I am friends with) I found the same happened to them, in fact to this day the cast cherish their time in “Puffs.” The only other time I have seen such bonding in a play was a 2 week run of “Godspell.” The cast became the closest of friends from there after same as with “Puffs.” So,yeah, “Puffs” has a bit of a religious experience to it.

    Thank You Matt Cox for such a great emotional rollercoaster!!!

  • gilwilson 2:35 PM on December 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Mizlansky/Zilinsky” By Jon Robin Baitz 

    By Jon Robin Baitz
    Performed by: Nathan Lane, Paul Sand, Grant Shaud, Rob Morrow, Julie Kavner, Richard Masur, Harry Shearer, Kurtwood Smith, Robert Walden
    Length: 1 hr and 46 mins
    Produced by L.A. Theatre Works
    Release date: 05-07-08

    This time around in my play research, I’m looking for something a little light-hearted. Going to my reliable source for play productions I look at L.A. Theatre Works for something. LATW always comes through with some great plays with stellar casts and outsanding production that puts you right smack dab in the middle of the audience. So, knowing, this will be a play I want to hear I start looking. (I’m still reading a couple of plays in book form, so I needed something to fill those downtimes.)

    The first thing that grabs me with this production is the cast. Two of the members of the cast are regular voice actors on “The Simpsons,” Julie Kavner and Harry Shearer, I already love Nathan Lane and Rob Morrow, so I think immediately this will be fun. And fun it is…actually fun is a bit of an understatement.

    Nathan Lane plays Davis Mizlansky a Hollywood producer trying to avoid the IRS. He’s now in the business of selling tax shelters in the form of Bible stories on tape. When a big Oklahoma money man, Horton De Vries, played by Kurtwood Smith (Red Forman from “That 70s Show”) has some potential buyers things get interesting, especially since Horton seems to be an anti-semite unknowingly working with the Mizlansky/Zilansky jewish duo.

    That being the meat of the story in my opinion the funniest bits are between Davis and his assistant. Some funny stuff there. Check this out. Now if I can find a stage to perform this I think more laughs can be found.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Italian shoes, a house in the hills, a gift for stretching the truth, and a petulant assistant to pick the scallions out of his Szechuan noodles – Hollywood producer Davis Mizlansky has it all. But he’s about to lose it to the IRS unless he can pull off one more deal. A stellar cast performs this hilarious send-up of modern-day Hollywood.
    ©2007 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2007 L.A. Theatre Works

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