Photo Credit - Darrett Sanders
We are so thankful for Libby (@FostersFriend) who has sent us a review of "The Christopher Boy's Communion." She attended the early showing on Saturday Feb 15, 2020.
I was fortunate to attend a matinee performance of "The Christopher Boy's Communion," David Mamet's new play in Los Angeles. The story focuses on a family dealing with the fallout over their son's involvement in a crime. Along the way, it examines the practice of religion. It asks if following the rules and doing what's expected is enough, even if you don't truly live what you profess to believe.
The play opens with Bill Macy, a cop who's finally drunk enough to talk, setting the stage. A crime has occurred and its effects are being felt. Macy's character is frustrated. He feels limited in his ability to stop the bad things that happen. In a dark, sometimes humorous conversation with a fellow officer played by Dominic Hoffman, he reveals the details of a murder. Someone is dead and someone is in custody. And Macy asks the question we all ask, which is why did this happen? Why would someone do this? And will they get away with it?
From there the play moves to the home of the parents of the suspect in custody, Alan and Joan. Joan is hell-bent on protecting her child. She believes years of faithfully practicing her religion, of doing the right things and knowing the right people will help her convince the rest of the world that he is a good boy and shouldn't be persecuted for the crime. Husbands, lawyers, (particularly Jewish lawyers), priests and money are just tools - things she needs to free him.
You've met Joan You've served with her on a church or school project. You know her. But do you really know her? If you're like me, she's a person that appears so perfect in every way that you tend to avoid her. She's not your friend, even though she's always polite and seems thoughtful. But you stay away from her because every conversation with her makes you feel like you just aren't quite good enough.
As Alan, Clark Gregg is perfect as a husband who's realized that simple bits of information like someone's name are turned into weapons by his wife. He's learned to admire Joan from a distance because it seems to keep her happy with him. He's also more realistic, and understands that this will not go away. They must deal with the circumstances they are given.
It seems very simple and straightforward. But it isn't. The story twists and turns, sometimes with the smallest revelation.These people are broken and their pain is obvious.Their words are sharp and hurtful. There is no comfort. And there's nothing you can do, except watch.
Fionnula Flanagan's performance stands out. When her character arrives, you sense a change immediately. What felt broken and sharp suddenly becomes smooth. She serves tea and truth to Joan. Maybe it's because her character is the only person we meet who seems truly at ease with who she is and what she does.
There are lots of people we don't meet in this play. And that feels deliberate. We are seeing the characters we do meet as they truly are. Any more information would allow us to make excuses for how they behave.
I enjoyed the play and recommend it. The performances are sold out, but there is a wait list. It was obvious the theater staff were checking for any unclaimed seats before the show. If you live in L.A., you might try to get on the list for a performance next week and go to the theater. It's definitely worth your time to try.
We want to say thanks to Libby once again for sending this fantastic review for the new David Mamet Play.
Tickets are Sold Out for all the remaining performances, however if you want to try and see this incredibly talented cast during their last 6 showings, call 310-477-2055 ext. 2 for the waiting list.