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Times's Scream and Hurry Review - I was Repeatedly Broken from Laughter and Brought toTears

By Alice M. Hunter

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Yecenia Torres plays a girl trapped into caring for her mentally disabled sister in Time's Scream and Hurry.

At first read, Time’s Scream and Hurry’s  title is secretive and reserved in its efforts to expose the play. However, after leaving the Thursday night performance at The Elephant Performance Lab, I felt as if I had been let in on three special secrets that were so raw and unforgiving in their revelation that I was repeatedly broken from laughter and brought to tears. The characters stayed a little off-center; the East L.A Latina teen played by Yecenia Torres, who looks after her mentally challenged sister, the New York City dominatrix played by J.J Pyle with a perverse obsession for fire and the regular guy from Chicago played by Max Williams who falls in love with a rape victim. Despite the gloomy storyline, each actor executed their character with enthusiasm and conviction keeping the lengthy monologues interesting and colorful.

J.J. Pyle plays a woman with an unusual pyrotechnical ability in Time's Scream and Hurry - "MATCH GIRL".

The Elephant Performance Lab in which the talented writer/director Paul Hoan Zeidler chose to house his world premiere masterpiece oozes warmth and intimacy.  The hard brick walls dissolve into the peripheral, drawing the audience further into the on-stage action. The eerily pleasant music stops and the lights dim then all at once, the action begins. An alarmed teenager sweeps on stage, slamming a door behind her causing the audience to jump. Torres is a fiery actress with strong stage presence and pulls us into this character from the start. Although the theater was indeed small, she commanded the room and fought to keep us invested throughout her intense monologue.

The second monologue appropriately titled “Match Girl” was utterly captivating. Pyle’s character entered stage clearly troubled but eerily calm and playing with fire (literally!) A young, anxious New Yorker struggling with depression and self harm turns to S & M for a way to release and founds a new sense of identity. Pyle was adorable and offensive all at once and I found myself admiring her strength and vunerability.  This role is double cast with Jessica Graham, who alternates in the lead role.

The lead role in "MATCH GIRL" is double cast - Jessica Graham plays a woman with an unusual pyrotechnical ability in Time's Scream and Hurry.


 Lastly, we are introduced to the rollercoaster ride of a monologue that is “ The Good Boyfriend” The audience at the beginning was kept in limbo; was this a story of love or of resentment? Does he get the girl or not? The constant changes in mood and intimacy shared with the invisible female proves Williams as an actor of amazing caliber.

Adam Haas Hunter
is Time’s Scream and Hurry’s excellent set and light designer. Such a great team enabled this entire production to intelligently master the small theater space, reverberating loud, abrupt sounds, lighting matches, knowing we could smell the burn, and at one point leaving us in total darkness just feet away from the action. These effects never failed to draw a gasp or shriek out of the enthralled audience.

Paul Hoan Zeilder has truly created something unique and captivating. It is a deeply involved insight into the lives we know surround us but cease to admit exists. The fact that the play consists of three lengthy monologues’ may deter some but for your own sake, buy a ticket. I found myself immediately emotionally invested, caring about the characters as if I were nursing those very traits in myself. Zeilder enabled the audience to feel for situations that they may not be familiar with, but can still manage to sympathize with and relate to. Stories like these are seldom explored with the detail and depth of Time’s Scream and Hurry, and for this alone, it deserves much recognition and respect.

Paul Hoan Zeidler, playwright and director of Time's Scream and Hurry.

 You can still get tickets for the show online at:  http://www.plays411.com/time.
Open at The Elephant Performance Lab through May 3, 2008.  Located at 6324 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA. 90038.  Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00PM.  Tickets are $20.00 for general admission.

Published on Dec 31, 1969

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