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A CurtainUp Los Angeles Review

By Jana Monji

Holly Ramos, Jessica Margaret Dean & Barry del Sherman (Photo: David Weininger )
In one hour and 20 minutes, Guy Zimmerman crams in a lot of socio-political commentary, making The Inside Job at the 2100 Square Feet Theatre in Los Angeles dense with somber, intellectual musings. Like most Padua Hills Playwright productions, this piece eschews emotional realism and instead, abstracts reality into posturing and scenarios of estrangement and alienation.

The setting of this dark comedy is a cheap San Fernando Valley condo. The characters are a disgraced corporate executive, Max (Barry del Sherman) and his suddenly silent socialite wife, Victoria (Jessica Margaret Dean), together with a young woman of mysterious means and motivations, Heidi (Holly Ramos). It seems that Victoria had Heidi on her mind before she stopped talking that Max has brought Heidi to his current home to rant about his humbled circumstances and to attempt to discover what happened to his wife who may not be entirely sane but is hardly a victim,. The coming together of these three gets close to anger at scandals like Enron and the American corporate interference in Latin America but remains aloof from romance and reality. As the three circle each other, it's clear that they too are materialistic sharks looking for new opportunities.

Sherman plays Max as a rigid man, driven by ego and with little moral conscience. Dean's less emotionally stable Victoria is equally ambitious. She doesn't love Max as much as she loves what he provided her with. Ramos makes Heidi slyly powerful and the slimiest member of the trio.

Director Zimmerman fails to maintain the momentum needed for this dry material, but there's a striking visual quality to the staging. This is enhanced by the graphic quality of the clear bright colors and simplicity of Jeffrey Atherton's set design and Robert Oriol's lighting design.

This isn't the kind of comedy to make make you laugh. Its humor stems from exposing and ridiculing the embrace of capitalism by the business-oriented well-to-do Americans.

The Inside Job
Writer and director: Guy Zimmerman
Cast : Max (Barry del Sherman), Victoria (Jessica Margaret Dean), Heidi (Holly Ramos).
Set designer: Jeffrey Atherton
Lighting designer: Robert Oriol
Original music and sound designer: Robert Orial
Running time: 1 hour 20 minutes, no intermission.
2100 Square Feet Theatre, 5615 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 692-2652. www.paduaplaywrights.com.
Fridays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Ends Dec. 7.-- $20. Review based on Nov. 15 performance.
At This Theater Cover
At This Theater


Leonard Maltin's 2003 Movie and Video Guide
Leonard Maltin's 2003 Movie and Video Guide


Ridiculous! The Theatrical Life and Times of Charles Ludlam
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam


Somewhere For Me, a Biography of Richard Rodgers
Somewhere For Me, a Biography of Richard Rodgers


The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century
The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century


metaphors dictionary cover
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
Click image to buy.
Go here for details and larger image.



broadwaynewyork.com


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©Copyright 2003, Elyse Sommer

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