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Dinner at Home between Deaths Review - The Ponzi Jig

By Elaine L. Mura

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“It’s a terrible thing to discover who you are.” With these profound words, playwright Andrea Lepcio embarks on an uproarious tale of discovery which makes ordinary black humor look pale by comparison. Lepcio draws on her years in the world of finance to create a Bernie Madoff look-alike who has been finagling with his client’s money for years. In the tradition of the picaresque hero (think of Dexter), this play will make you laugh even when your guilt meter tells you to cry.


Diane Cary and Todd Waring - Photo by Michael Lamont

Sean Lynch (Todd Waring) is the wonderkind of finance who never fails to deliver huge profits to all his investors, He and wife Fiona (Diane Cary) live the good life with their three blessed sons. Even Fiona’s sister, the oft-married Kat Cabot (Andrea Evans), has benefitted from Sean’s expertise in money dealing; she landed the highly prestigious position of chairman of a multi-million dollar charity due to Sean’s profitable monetary sense. The childless Kat has “adopted” one of her ex-husband’s grown daughters, Lily (Amielynn Abellera), who has had a tumultuous past dabbling in acting and drugs and now has finally settled in working for Sean - her ideal job. Things couldn’t be better - until they aren’t.


Todd Waring and Amielynn Abellera - Photo by Michael Lamont

Soon, Lily and Sean find that they have something in common, a love of sailing. Their shared time quickly evolves into something more than riding the waves. But Lily, a lover of mathematical theory and puzzles, turns out to be too smart for her own good when she discovers that the foundation of Sean’s empire is due for an earthquake. As Sean’s elaborate house of cards seems doomed to crash, he must figure out how to make some adjustments. And thereby hangs the very funny tale of a desperate man and his doting wife. And isn’t it true that desperate times call for desperate measures?


Diane Cary, Andrea Evans, and Todd Waring - Photo by Michael Lamont

Author Lepcio has fashioned some very real people in this maelstrom, people the audience will love - and maybe will love to hate. The talented cast of DINNER AT HOME BETWEEN DEATHS manages to develop rounded characters out of individuals who might otherwise have been caricatures. Director Stuart Ross of “Forever Plaid” fame artfully helms this dark comedy through multiple scene shifts, sometimes simultaneous. Evan A. Bartoletti’s set ably supports a very complicated series of movable scenes. Imagine a sailboat atop a dining room table (or tub) with outlined sails attached to a mobile. The entire production team is to be congratulated for its ability to carry through such complex changes. DINNER AT HOME BETWEEN DEATHS is a winner and well worth an evening.


Diane Cary and Andrea Evans - Photo by Michael Lamont

DINNER AT HOME BETWEEN DEATHS runs through May 8, 2016, with performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. The play is a guest production at the Odyssey Theatre, located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025. Tickets are $30. For reservations, call 323-960-4429 or go online at www.plays411.com/dinner.

Published on Apr 03, 2016

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