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'At the Old Place explores life's possibilities

 

Last updated 7/26/2017 at Noon



Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to the Village News

La Jolla Playhouse has long been recognized as a premier house for cutting edge works and ground-breaking performances. "At the Old Place" is no exception.

Performed by a small troupe, this creative work about going home has a resonance of truth wrapped around the loss of one’s mother.

Angie (Heidi Armbruster) returns home after her mother passes to discover her brother has put the old house up for sale.

Now, in her 40’s, Angie is looking at her life through the narrow neck of a bottle… questioning everything up to now including her marriage.

Her passage is interrupted when she stumbles upon two young adults who have found refuge in her mother’s front yard – a long established sanctuary from the nuttiness of their lives.

Jolene (Brenna Coates) and Will (Marcel Spears) are discovered in the midst of one of their gripe sessions about a co-worker. Surprised by discovering two bantering strangers on the front lawn, Angie invites them to continue their arrangement and decides to join them.

"At the Old Place" is like walking mid-sentence into a space where

a conversation is happening then sitting at the edge of the room just listening. A clever way to eaves drop without being scolded for it.

Remarkable performances are given by this threesome plus a cameo by Benim Foster playing Harrison, Angie’s on-again-off-again lover. He too adds to this intimate production about life and its various woes.

This is a single act play held in the smaller, more intimate setting at the Mandell Weiss Forum. A good one to see as it offers many of life’s possibilities for the audience to explore.

Director Jaime Castaneda has assembled a talented support group around this impressive work by Rachel Bonds. Scenic designer Lauren Helpern pulled out all the stops creating this innovative set. While David Renoso as costume designer and Lap Chi Chu along with Melanie Chen worked out lighting and sound in that order.

"At the Old Place", presented by La Jolla Playhouse at Mandell Weiss Forum, runs only through July 30. LaJollaPlayhouse.org or Box Office at (858) 550-1010.

 

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