Francesca (Tracy Eliott) is self-aware kinda girl. And she’s more than content with that… sorta. She has an unchallenging, semi-rewarding job that pays the bills. She has group of work-friends, Miranda (Patty Jean Robinson) the resident doom and gloomer and the indomitably upbeat Adele (June Carryl). And work-friends are good… well good enough.
She’s snarky and smart and confidence and proud of it… mostly. At least her equally snarky gay neighbor Nate (Daniel Montgomery) is happy to have a partner in crime on this front. She has a killer apartment which Nate, and well most people, love.
She has a steady, building superintendent Robert (Jon Gale), whom she leads around by an emotional leash. He’s good for sex but not so good for the stimulating conversation, despite his best efforts. He’s needy and solicitous and frankly Francesca is just not that into him, emotionally. Then again, Francesca is not into anything emotionally.
So what more can a girl ask for when she has a perfectly acceptable, livable life. What Francesca never knew she was looking for appeared one day on the coffee room at work, and his name was Anton (Mikhail Blokh). Painfully average with a bushy mustache and a conspicuously generic Eastern European accent, he is completely not Francesca’s type, and yet they both feel an unreasonably powerful attraction. After only a few brief meeting, after which Francesca loses her job and Anton hires her, they fall into an intense love affair. It seems magical at first, but Anton soon confession why their new relationship feels so “other worldly”. For a girl who is mildly content with the banality of life, what is Francesca to do when she finds herself in an extraordinary relationship? And will just enough be enough for her anymore?
Our heroine breaks the fourth wall right at the top of the show, and I found Francesca to be extremely likable. She confessional musings are clever and insightful without pandering or over-engaging the audience. Tracy Eliott’s performance is witty, charming and down right fun. In fact, the cast is truly a well balance ensemble, with each performer doing his or her part within this three ring circus, rotating seamlessly from center stage to supporting player with equal conviction and grace. Kudos to director Richard Tatum in his skillful trafficking and pacing of this farcical fantasy that bounces between points of view and time and tone.
The Insidious Impact of Anton is an unexpectedly engrossing journey that one young woman takes into her own soul. Solemn we examine what makes us happy and why. Perhaps because what we fear we might find is complacency, a state often mistaken for contentment. No one likes to think that, like Francesca, they have settled. In The Insidious Impact of Anton, writer David Hilder successfully challenges the age old adage that maybe you actually can miss what you’ve never had. Maybe it just takes a sign (or a lover) from above to illuminate what might be missing.
It is s a really fun show. You should definitely check it out.
The Insidious Impact of Anton is running now through August 28th, 2011 at:
El Centro Theatre
804 N. El Centro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90038
For Reservations call: 323-230-7261