NASCAR has always fascinated me and therefore the mind of a racing driver who is torn between his love for the sport and his love of his past life intrigued me, as well. The play, The Trip Back Down, now being performed at the WhiteFire Theatre, has not been seen since 1988. Despite the fact that the run for the play, The Trip Back Down, was nearing it's end, I still anxiously wanted to attend.
The star studded cast blew the audience away with the ferocity of their acting skills.
The straight line of the story featured Nick Stabile as Bobby Horvath, a semi-successful driver who has begun to question what he is doing and why. He fights with his friend and co-driver Super Joe Weller (Robb Derringer) and decides it's time to take a break.
Returning to his small town roots to explore his options, he meets up with his brother Frank (Kevin Brief) and father Will (Larrs Jackson.) He also runs into fans as Chuck (Karl Ebergen) and policeman (Mike Mahaffey) as well as John Meeghan (Gregory G Giles) his former brother-in-law who is determined that Bobby will not see the wife Joann (Eve Danzeisen) or daughter Jan (Lily Nicksay) whom Bobby left behind went he went off in search of his dream.
Family dynamics come into play when he takes up residence at his brother's and finds that Barbara Horvath (Meredith Thomas) is still in love with him. But is he in love with her, or still in love with his ex-wife? Over the course of numerous flashbacks, past and present collide in this heart wrenching story, giving Bobby the answers that he seeks.
Others starring in the play include Chad Anthony Miller, Chelese Belmont, Terasa Sciortino, Lovlee Carroll, and Scott Roe.
Written by award winning playwright John Bishop, this vision of The Trip Back Down is directed by Terri Hanuer and is produced by Raquel Lehrman and Victoria Watson of Theatre Planners and Bella Vita Entertainment.
Although the play is two and a half hours long, the pace is quick and the story keeps you focused. Transitions between the simplistic scenes (done by Tom Buderwitz) ran smoothly with apt use of digital backgrounds. Katherine S. Hunt managed the props while Jeremy Pivnick did the lights. Sound was done by Dino Hermann, while Shannon A Kennedy did the costume and Corwin Evans did the projection design. Penelope Lowder managed the stage. Mike Mahaffey did an excellent job of choreographing the fights. Mark Hanauer did the photography. Publicity was Lucy Pollak.
Tickets range from $15 (students with ID) to general admission of $25. Call 323 960 7712323 960 7712 or go to plays411. The show goes on til March 29 and performs on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays at 8 pm. The Whitefire is located at 13500 Ventura near Woodman. Street parking is available.