63 TRILLION REVIEW - A BLACK COMEDY FOR OUR TIMES

A black comedy for our times, 63 Trillion offers a hint into the financial morass that today’s investors face. The play’s author John Bunzel is himself a certified financial planner practitioner who knows the in’s and out’s of investment. The play highlights the vicissitudes of the stock market, a financial circus manipulated by individuals who are expert in multiplying millions and playing with others’ money. Enter a group of bottom-feeding, psychopathic experts with little interest in ethics or morality and even less interest in the welfare of their clients. Personal loyalties are a thing of the past as they scramble to avert a financial disaster. Despite their anxiety and even terror, they hold fast to their goal - how to maximize their profits in a failing market. As they struggle to stay afloat, and even profit from, the rapidly deteriorating, increasingly dismal financial Armageddon surrounding them, we see individuals at their very worst, exemplified by the financial expert who assaults a blind mailroom clerk and then obsesses about the clerk’s mother’s shapely buns. Each jockeys to achieve his best possible outcome while lying, manipulating, and evading the consequences of his own actions; civil rights and simple fairness are far down on their list of priorities.  Add to the mix the dynamic of age and longevity: several older, experienced men discount their young, hard-working intern throughout the play.

 

63 Trillion’s brilliant cast manage to develop some rather one-dimensional characters into living, vibrant human beings. Their frenetic, cynical dealings with each other are a joy to watch. Even though the stage setting is static - one scene comprised of an office with several desks, a bar, and a picture window - the actors’ skills manage to move things along and keep the audience alert and involved. Clearly, the actors work smoothly together; and it is not surprising that they have been praised for their strong ensemble cast. 

 

63 Trillion is a presentation of The New American Theatre, a company of professional actors who work in multiple media, and directed by Steve Zuckerman. 63 Trillion is a guest production at the Odyssey Theatre, located at 2055 South Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90025. The play runs from April 25 to June 7, 2015, with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sunday (April 26 and June 7 only). Tickets are $30 to $34.90 and available at NewAmericanTheatre.com/tickets or 310-477-2055.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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