When reality bites.
Resurrection of the Ants
Written by Paul Fontana
Directed by Gary Wolf
Starring Paul Fontana, Amy Main, Ken Arquelio, Claudio Pinto, Peter Trencher, Meeghan Holaway
Presented by Hayworth Theatre Center (Production Photos by Ed Krieger)
Poor George Sackett is a struggling writer who is rich with dreams. What he lacks in material possessions he makes up for in blind determination, an appetite for risk and an adorable lack of self-awareness. After spending years handwriting (pen and paper!) a novel about a prisoner and his tiny ant companion, George believes that his labor of love is finally ready for the world to see.
So we looked.
Making its Los Angeles debut, award-winning director Gary Wolf brings us Resurrection of the Ants, written by and starring Paul Fontana who—thankfully for us—has a white knuckle grasp on reality and writing talent. And while George Sackett’s future might look bleak, the future of this production certainly does not.
Well-written and equally well-acted, the performances shine throughout even while they portray less than honest and wholesome characters. With quick dialogue and a strong cast, it is soooo very easy to get sucked into George Sackett’s desperate situation even while simultaneously finding him mildly annoying and definitely whiny. After all, we’re used to this dynamic, right? Real Housewives of (insert city here), Big Brother, Vanderpump Rules—the addictive machine of reality TV exposes us to abhorrent characters we can’t resist following week after week.
Resurrection of the Ants gives us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of creating reality television and how things are not always what they seem (isn’t that the reality? That things are not always what they seem?). Paul Fontana asks the audience to confront their own dark fears: Would you be willing to sacrifice your dream—even lie—to secure your financial future? Or would you stick with your dreams no matter what the cost, even at the cost of physical harm?
After being told that he must change nearly every aspect of his story (both written and actual) in order to be successful, George finds himself faced with a decision. Adding to the urgency of his situation, George is in deep with a loan shark who might or might not be a patron of the arts. The program note of “Performance includes Gun Shots” might or might not be a clue.
Whether you can personally relate to George Sackett’s aspirations and struggles or you are just looking to step into someone else’s reality for a few hours, Resurrection of the Ants is a production worth seeing. Its dark and dry humor will keep you LOLing even as you are faced with the absurdity of George’s situation and you’ll leave the theatre intrigued on as many topics as sibling rivalry, pop culture, artistic values, marriage and non-brick and mortar money lending. Director Gary Wolf’s debut in the LA area does not disappoint, and playwright Paul Fontana’s writing and performance clearly shows his talent, on and off stage.
So go and see the play; it’s the real deal.
Hayworth Theatre Center
2511 Wilshire Blvd (at Carondelet St.)
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Now through July 28
Friday and Saturday at 8PM
Sunday at 3PM
$25 Friday and Saturday
Box Office: (323) 960-4443
Get there early and find easy street parking. The lot next to the Hayworth will charge you $10 and be snotty about it.