North Hollywood, CA ( December, 2013)
Storefront Church is the West Coast Premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner John Patrick Stanley’s final installment of the trilogy called Church and State which all began with the play Doubt. Storefront Church is a wonderful play for the holiday season, teaches us all a lesson in the true meaning of faith and forgiveness.
Directed by the critically acclaimed Ronnie Marmo, the artistic director and co-founder of Theatre 68, also known as 68 Cent Crew. The play opened right before Thanksgiving at its resident theatre company Noho Arts Center and runs through December 21st. Hats off to the set designer Danny Cistone for his every changing backdrops and authentic stage props. The cast is diverse and complex in every way, exposing riveting and heartfelt performances which i immensely enjoyed. These seasoned actors held the production together like glue, strong and steady with evey word, giving dynamics and ground breaking monologues.
Storefront Church was set during Christmas time in the Bronx. It focuses on faith and corporate greed two things we all may have experienced. There is a Bronx building president a Mexican-Italian American Donaldo Calderon (Aris Alvarado) who is trying to collect a late mortgage payment from old neighborhood friends and married tenants Jessie Cortez a devoted Christian lady (Johnnett Kent) and Ethan Goldklang her Jewish husband (Alan Ehrlich). The headboss Tom Raiderberg (Charles Hoyes) treatens to have to kick the married couple out on the street if they dont come up with the money. Ethan tries to ask the loan officer Reed Van Druyten (Ed Dyer) enforces them to do. Later on the couple Jessie and Ethan attempts another meeting with their borough president and friend Donaldo in which during this meeting Donaldo finds out the couple are housing a preacher who has been staying in the unit, building a storefront church for his congregation. Donaldo now focuses his energy on this new resident member of the building and finds out more than he bargains for. When he goes to visit the preacher Chester Kimmich (Steven Stanton) Donaldo has an intense interaction and confronts things he'd been hiding for such a long time. The heartfelt monologues are explosive and charming and the play finds its way into your heart forever. It leaves you with questions and answers about your own path of life and what are you really fighting for. A must see during this time of the year but a message for anytime of the year!!
Storefront Church runs until December 21, 2013 Every Friday and Saturday night. All Performances are at the NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91601. To reserve tickets call 323 960 5068
$20.00 Advanced purchase
$25.00 @the door
To find out more about the Director Ronni Marmo and the Cast, Visit the Theatre 68 Website