Written by Kathryn Graf
Directed by Joel Polis
Presented by The Katselas Theatre Company
I’m one of those urban farmers you’ve heard about, with six happy hens roaming my back yard. Not only do I know a lot about chickens, I also now know a lot about eggs. Like the fact that an egg is laid awash in a protective, chemical covering called a “bloom” that seals the egg’s contents from external contaminants and helps keep it fresh for a good long time.
Until, of course, the outside world interferes and the egg is cleansed, compromised, cracked. Then all hell breaks loose, egg-wise.
That was the kernel of inspiration for Hermetically Sealed, now enjoying its world premiere at the Skylight Theatre in Los Feliz. This fantastic play is the story of such a cosmic betrayal upon a woman—a woman who loses her bloom and is trying not to be further contaminated by life.
Tessie May, played to modern motherly perfection by Gigi Bermingham, is an accomplished pastry chef for a local caterer and the mother of two sons who are at once needy and distant and clingy and defiant, as young men are wont to be where their Mothers are concerned. For opening night, the elder son Jimmy was well played by understudy Jonathan Griffin Sterling as cast member Wolfie Trausch was unfortunately too ill to perform. The younger son Conor, still living at home and almost lost down the rabbit hole of teen angst and video games, is so well captured by Nicholas Podany you feel like you’re looking through the May family’s windows.
Hermetically Sealed is a masterful blend of ingredients that delight and entertain: Tessie is the doting Mom who is enthralled at her young son’s antics, the sort that would annoy anyone who did not share his DNA. While Jimmy is absently suffering the after effects of a late night out, Conor is shouting from half a house away for drink and sandwiches, as if his legs were merely painted on. Tess, busy in the kitchen with a big catering order and a looming deadline, still obliges his every whim in their idyllic isolation.
All is happy and well and sit-commy in the May household until the door is opened, until outsiders appear, until the eggs are all broken into so many bowls. Tessie’s employers come to pick up their catering order but bring with them a mirror to reflect the cracks inside the May family dynamic that we the audience have yet to see. As more is revealed, Conor nimbly tiptoes the fine line of the son who has had to suffer too much too soon, who has had to grow up so fast that he now calls Mom “Tess.”
As Tess’ catering customers, Dale Sr. and Dale Jr. (a married couple with the same first name) are played by Brendan Patrick Connor and Julia Prud’homme, respectively. While played to be slightly brutish and annoying, nonetheless they represent perhaps the only light the Mays have seen in a while, the only way out to a life that, while harsh, is still their best shot at not being eaten up by heartache altogether.
Will the May family take the helping hand or shut the door and gorge on their just desserts? You’ve just got to see this play.
Make your ticket reservations by calling 702-582-8587 or going online here.
1816 No. Vermont
Los Angeles, CA 90027
There are a few $5 lots nearby and at the Post Office across the street. Arrive early as the neighborhood is busy on weekend evenings.
Now through November 20
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 7 p.m.
Running time is about 90 minutes with no intermission
$30 General Admission
$22.50 for Seniors
$15 for Students
Group discounts are available