Theatre Review – In the Balance – A Ghostly Adventure



In the Balance - : Travis Stevens (l.), Benjamin Hoekstra, Meg Wallace- photos by Riley Beckham

Do you believe in ghosts? 


The characters in A. David Redish’s new play In The Balance now in its West Coast premier at the Studio/Stage theatre  (520  N. Western, 9004) apparently do.   


Directed by Steve Jarrad and presented by Collaborative Artists Ensemble, the story centers on Matt (Brian Graves) and Cass (Meg Wallace) who live in a Big Sur mansion overlooking the ocean.


In the Balance - Brian Graves, Meg Wallace. photos by Riley Beckham.

With a newly delivered daughter Cass appears on the edge, feeling a sense of wrongness in the house.  She is shadowed by two ghost characters – Benjamin Hoekstra and Travis Stevens -  who seem to indicate nefarious activity in the house and provide poltergeist events as crashing cups and odd sounds. 


When their friends Kostya (Peter Nikkos) and his girlfriend Alicia (Laura Gudino/ Renata Ortiz Mena) arrive for a friendly visit, they become the inciting incident for the ghost of Matt’s former girlfriend to return and the full story of her death to surface. 


In The Balance - Peter Nikkos (l.), Meg Wallace, Travis Stevens, Benjamin Hoekstra, Brian Graves, Laura Gudino - photos by Riley Beckham

Acting was excellent, though one had to pay close attention since several characters changed roles mid-stream –with Cass becoming Diana and Alicia becoming Cass.    The story’s conclusion seemed left hanging, as well.   Was the ghost satisfied?  More twists might have been inserted in the story perhaps dealing with the baby and the two silent ghosts might have done a bit more to enhance the script. 


In The Balance - Brian Graves (l.), Laura Gudino, Peter Nikkos, Meg Wallace --photos by Riley Beckham

The acoustics were also a bit hard to hear at times.  I was told because this was a new space for the production company.  However, it did improve in the 2nd act. 


Rebekah Atwell served as stage manager and Phil Sokoloff did the publicity.


In The Balance - Peter Nikkos (l.), Laura Gudino, Meg Wallace, Brian Graves- photos by Riley Beckham

Tickets for In the Balance can be had by calling 323 860 6569 for $20 and the play runs from November 11, 2016 to December 11. 2016 at 8 pm, and Sundays at 7 pm.  No performance on November 25, 2016 and the December 10th play will be at 2 pm.  Parking is on the street.  

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