Hatikva Productions presents the new hard hitting drama about family conflict and clashing cultures by award winning writer Wendy Graf now at the Lounge Theatre in Los Angeles. Directed by Shirley Jo Finney, this world premiere of Closely Related Keys opened February 28 and continues to March 30, 2014.
The title of play is taken from the musical expression meaning “to share many common tones” as do the characters in this piece.
When Julia Dolan, a struggling attorney, finds out from her father that she has a half-sister, Neyla, a Muslim, from the time he served in Iraq, her life begins to crumble as her own personal relationship dissolves. She learns not only is she expected to host her new half-sister in her small apartment, but that Neyla, who plays the violin, wants to audition for Julliard. Little does she know that Neyla has an alternate goal for coming to New York.
Julia, whose mother had died during the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, is suspicious of this new woman in her life and fears terrorism. She feels resentful, unloved, and betrayed by her father for not having told her of this episode in his life.
This story, about love, lies, and secrets, shows how the past, never being dead, hovers just around the corner waiting to confront us and forces us to pick up pieces to reassemble our lives and our futures. The play centers around race relations, cultural differences and the African American experience. Each of the five characters have unique voices with distinctive point of views and all are trying to navigate the newly interconnected, multicultural world.
The play, which stars NAACP award winner Diarra Kilpatrick (Julia), Yvonne Huff (Neyla), Brent Jennings (Charlie), Ted Mattison (Ron) and Adam Meir (Tariq), examines our personal walls erected to protect our race, religion, moral and political polarization. Produced by Racquel Lehrman and Victoria Watson of Theatre Planners, public relations is done by Lucy Pollack, with set and projection design by Hana Sooyeon Kim, costume by Naila Aladdin Sanders, lighting by Donny Jackson, graphics by Olivia Weissblum and set builders being Joshua Benton and Adam Hunter. Kathleen Jaffe was production stage manager. It was Adam Meir who provided the dialect while Ed Krieger did the press photography.
Wendy Graf’s plays have been produced all over the country. This award winning playwright has done many family and cultural oriented dramas including No Word In Guyanese for Me, Behind The Gates, Lessons, and Leipzig among others
Director Shirley Jo Finney has been honored with Ovation, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, Garland, LA Weekly and NAACP for her work. She directs not only plays but many television episodes, as well.
Tickets cost $25 on Thursday, Friday and Sunday while Saturday price is $30. For tickets call 323 960 7774323 960 7774 or go to plays411. The Lounge Theatre is located at 6201 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038 (just east of Vine St.)