In geometry, a parallelogram is a simple (non self-intersecting) quadrilateral with two pairs of parallel sides. From the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning author of Clybourne Park, Bruce Norris—A Paralleogram is a fairly amusing story that features Marin Ireland as a self-involved and complicated woman named Bee and the strange relationship with her much older self.
Along with her fire breathing, short fused boyfriend Jay portrayed by Tom Irwin, Bee stumbles through her suburban dullness, most of time on her bed; trying to navigate her past, present and future. Bee’s much older self, a one-woman Molotov cocktail, played by Marylouise Burke, serves as the sharp tongue commentary track; who delivers most of the plays nuggets of wisdom on love, marriage and relationships. Also featured is a remote control that allows Older Bee to mute or rewind different parts of Younger Bee’s life. As Young Bee’s life coasts down hill and spirals out of her control, she finds herself on med’s, in therapy and shackin up with her former gardner, JJ, enjoyably played by Carlo Alban.
Though the jokes come fast and right from the get-go, Norris and director Anna Shapiro create an involving atmosphere where the heroine gets some decent mileage with shifting realities and time travel. Complications arise when the remote starts to overrule Younger Bee’s choices and she invests more time on repeating her past.
Keeping a healthy balance of comedy and drama A Paraellaogram touches on the philosophies of choice and fate. You may root for the Younger Bee, but want to strangle her at the same time. Younger Bee’s crusade to reconstruct her life is both perplexing and regrettable, as she just can’t seem to say or do anything right. While Tom Irwin is both funny and serious at the right moments, Carlo Alban is comforting and familiar as JJ. And Marylouise Burke is extremely funny, moving and shocking at the same time. Marin Ireland is fearless as she shares Bee’s inner self with the audience.
Though A Paraellaogram is a reflective story that delivers some heartfelt and clever moments; this perennial tale often arrives at being Ground Hog’s Day with a hangover. There was not an inkling of effort put into the story as to how and why Older Bee arrived into the life of the emotionally challenged Younger Bee’s
The actors have chemistry and build wonderfully off of each other. Ireland and Irwin connect with the collapse of their characters relationship, as their growing dissatisfaction becomes more evident.
Each actor allows the audience inside, not only in the lives of the characters, but their hearts and the darkest part of their psyche.
Lighting and scenic design to keep the story grounded in its reality.
In the end, the world closes in on Young Bee and nothing seems the same. She decides that she could have a better chance if she lied for a living. So, with one tap on the remote control, the audience is taken right back where we started. The beginning.
A Parallelogram is now running through Aygust 18, 2013 at:
Mark Taper Forum
at the Music Center
downtown Los Angeles
135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Published on Jul 24, 2013