Written by Tony Abatemarco
Directed by Jenny Sullivan
Produced by Gary Grossman
Presented by The Katselas Theatre Company
It was a sunny, beautiful, three-day holiday weekend and there was no good reason most people would spend a perfectly lovely Sunday afternoon sitting and watching a play in a dark theatre.
Unless you truly love theatre. And storytelling. And enlightenment. And any day with all three of those assets is surely a holiday.
Beautified, now playing at the Skylight in Los Feliz, enticed a whole roomful of people one such afternoon for the World Premiere of this production, written from a personal account of his late brother by local playwright Tony Abatemarco, the multi-award winning writer, actor, director, and producer.
The set of Beautified remains the same throughout—it opens in a hair salon in 1969 and proceeds four decades. You will love everything you see here—the way the actors and the atmosphere are updated with the times and the storyline is ingenious, thanks to Costume Designer Allison Leach and Set Decorator Jeff McLaughlin. And what would a play about changing hairstyles be without the Wig Designer? Kudos for this daunting task are well deserved for Diane Martinous.
Mike, played by Rob Brownstein, is a young, ambitious, married beautician. We find him on the first day of opening his own shop when the future is bright and all perfectly planned (remember what John Lennon said?). Two women enter the shop that day, two women who will be with Mike—and they with him—for the next four crazy decades. Sally starts out as a novice shampooer although she is already a professional wise-ass. Played by Joanne Strapp, Sally calls ’em like she sees ’em. There is no love lost between her and Mike’s long-suffering first client Candy, played by the amazing and multi-faceted Karen Austin. Mike and Sally and Candy will travel a long road together and individually, and we get to witness it all. Lucky us. Sally doesn’t stay inexperienced (or childless), Mike doesn’t stay married, and Candy finds her sweetness.
You should discover for yourself how this troupe takes you on their journey. There were a lot of laughs and a few tears of recognition in the audience; yes, I heard your sniffles.
We all have our confessors in life, those who are not necessarily close friends in our social circles but those to whom we somehow feel comfortable enough with to lay it all out there: your personal trainer at the gym, your nail techs or masseuse, the stranger you met in the jury duty waiting room. They’re not therapists, but they sure get the brunt of your life’s icky stuff—and we salute them.
Make your ticket reservations by calling 702-582-8587 or online at www.ktctickets.com
The Skylight Theatre
1816 No. Vermont
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Easy street and nearby lot parking.
Now through July 15, 2012
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 2 p.m.
Running time is about 90 minutes with no intermission