“Treat Yourself Like Cary Grant” Review - Who Says Theatre is Dead in LA?


“Treat yourself like Cary Grant” opened at the Lillian Theatre, in Hollywood, CA on Friday, August 19th at 8pm. 

It was a refreshing night out in Hollywood. 

It makes one think …

Why do more people not go see theatre in LA … especially innovative, experimental forward thinking theatre at that?   After all, the world’s best actors do flock to Los Angeles!

This unique and witty piece by writer & director Rick Pagano makes one think, makes one laugh, and makes one cry….

Pagano handled the dialogue with great aplomb and so apropos  with the release of the “West Memphis Three”

“Treat yourself like Cary Grant” is based on the concept that "Everyone wants to be Cary Grant." - Apparently, even a man on Death Row for murdering his wife.  So when a brilliant young attorney attempts to exonerate him using DNA evidence, she finds herself challenged by a man living in a delusion that he is a dead classic movie star.   As she tries to untangle the loose ends of the case in time to save his life, she finds the larger issues of her own life--her father, her ambition, her relationship with her boyfriend--changing dramatically because of her contact with this strange yet charismatic madman.

Christine Syron & Kim Estes

Erin Carufel & Kim Estes

The charismatic madman was played by Kim Estes with delicate balance … you really did believe this man could be on death row and you could see that he believed he was Cary Grant! Even though his accent was not perfect, it worked as that was the point, the character was not supposed to be a Cary Grant impersonation and Mr. Estes’ Grant-ism’s made the audience constantly chuckle and smile with delight.  It was good to remember cinema’s most beloved actor …What a tragic pity that some of us do not know who he is…. Hopefully the next generation will now care to know!

Erin Carufel works as the smart but anxiety-ridden attorney, Roberta pressured by her job and her patrician father played by Jan Munroe who is excellent as the stern and detached father.

Randolph Adams had a goofy charm as Luke, her boyfriend.

Wilfred Biggs is appropriately dim-witted as the prison guard.

Simone Moore - helps with a difficult role of Roberta's colleague charged with supervising the case.  And Christine Syron’s etherial beauty lights up the stage as Estes’s dead wife.

All the actors gave solid performances and were so perfectly cast.

Simone Moore & Erin Carufel

Not a surprise as “Treat Yourself Like Cary Grant” is Rick Pagano's tenth play, as writer-director. His company Pagano-Manwiller has cast more than seventy feature films, including "Say Anything, Hotel Rwanda," and "Drugstore Cowboy." They also cast such TV hits as "24," "Picket Fences," and "Chicago Hope," winning two Emmys. Besides doing his own plays, he has cast shows on Broadway, and at the Lincoln Center and the Mark Taper Forum.

Even though enjoyable, perhaps the only weakness of this piece is that it does not appeal to the lazy-minded. As Mr. Pagano’s dialogue and plot points are best understood through inference.

A very special mention to Adam Hunter for his set design and creative use of space. After all you don’t need money to have style!

The Lillian Theatre was transformed by the loving touch of  producers, Russell Boast & David Fofi  and their creative team to an elegant era gone by…  where not only the wine was flowing, the cheese gourmet but I kid you not … the team was so gracious they even moved your car just in case you got a ticket!  I’m sure Hollywood was like that when Cary Grant, was around!

“If you give the impression of being a man without a care in the world it is because people with problems always try to give that impression.  We are all the opposite of what we appear to be”

                                                                                                               --- Cary Grant


What are you doing this weekend?

My advice ….

Tivo your favorite tv show and go see theatre in LA!

MENTION “SPLASH” and you will get a  $5 discount on rush tickets at the door.

Treat Yourself Like Cary Grant opens 19th August 2011 and will run for five weeks, closing on Sunday, 18th September 2011. Performances are at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, at 7 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $20. Box office phone: 323 960-7745

The Lillian Theatre

6322 Santa Monica Blvd

(Santa Monica & Lillian Way)

Los Angeles, CA 90038





Elephant Stages and Rocket Propelled Ltd Present


Written & Directed by – Rick Pagano

Executive Producer – Dave Fofi

Produced by – Russell Boast


CAST: (In Alphabetical Order)

Randolph Adams

Wilfred Biggs

Erin Carufel

Kim Estes

Simone Moore

Jan Munroe

Christine Syron



Stage Manager – Natalya Zernitskaya

Lighting Designer – Matt Richter

Set Design – Adam Hunter

Audio Visual Design – Jason Young

Dialect Coach – Bob Corff

Press Liaison – Sandra Kuker

Marketing Design – Sam Hennings

Assistant to the Director – Cassidy Boyd

Assistant to the Producer – Denise Carole

Marketing Administrator – Lauren Montgomery


Annie Thespie   lives in Los Angeles, CA.




Top of Page

Join Splash Magazines

Feature Article

Tempflow™ and Tempur-Pedic® Reviews - What 35 Hours of Research Uncovered

Want Your Business to Male a Splash
<!-- #wrapper -->