Anatol Vs.

Put your dukes up

The battle of the sexes has long been a topic of literature, film and stage.  In a semi-romantic tragic-farcical adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler's "Anatol," The MET Theatre of Hollywood presents the quirky and charming "Anatol Vs." Put your gloves on, because the fight is about to begin.

For those familiar with the Austrian playwright of the 1800's, an expectation of quick witted dialogue and artful romance, however ridiculously rendered in the hands of a playboy, is brought along.  By no means as flowery as the original but no less cunning or amusing, this modernized production, complete with very salacious topic matter and dialogue captures the subtleties of the outrageous foisted upon one another in the name of love, or at very least, romance. 

Anatol (Eric Riviera) is the consummate bachelor at large with a list of ex lovers that would rival Casanova.  Played with a very Victorian edge that still remains current, it is hard to not find him likeable in spite of the silliness of his idiosyncrasies or the cruel twists he introduces into his affairs. 

Under my spell

Lisa Welti has the extraordinary challenge of playing all seven women that Anatol plows through.  Though it might take a bit at first for those unfamiliar with the original play, she does a marvelous job of creating seven entirely different women with fresh personalities easily distinguished from one another.

Serving as the voice of reason and Anatol's side kick is Max (Jose Solomon), uttering everything that might pop into the head during the course of the production.  A masterful foil to Anatol's outrageous antics, and spiced up with some racy modern humor, Max is something of a tour guide and compatriot in commiserating with the audience's sensibilities. 


Additional devices to the production are a few modern movement pieces, the insertion of contemporary music and a ring girl.  That's right.   A ring girl.  She's a saucy little Japanese girl in a bikini holding up the names of each woman that Anatol must contend with.  In a storyline of her own, she has a very interesting part that doesn't make much sense at first.  In fact, it is so subtle and well done; much of the audience is duped.  Let's just leave it unclear so as to not spoil any surprises but suffice it to say that Saemi Nakamura as the Ring Girl is delightful.

You are a chicken

All around, this production is brilliantly executed, interestingly directed (hats off to the whimsy of director L. Flint Esquerra) and very entertaining.  "Anatol Vs." opened November 13th and runs through Sunday, December 19th.  Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 pm and Sundays at 7:30 pm.  The MET Theatre is located at 1089 Oxford Ave, Hollywood, Ca.  General admission is $15.

You can visit the MET website at:

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