Mutant Olive One Man Show Review - A Father-Son Dialogue of Comedy and Despair

 

Mutant Olive - Mitch Hara - photography by Ed Krieger'

Father and son relationships can be a touchy subject.  It can be comedic, can be dramatic, and either way it can be emotionally charged.  Mitch Hara, who wrote and performs his one man show “Mutant Olive,” excises his personal demons as he relates his adventures growing up gay with a father who apparently did not understand him.   

Directed by Terri Hanauer, Mitch, who plays his alter-ego Adam Astra, puts himself totally into the play.  He starts the story off from the side of the entrance as he pretends to be auditioning for a role in Death of A Salesman as he deals with a series of phone calls from his annoying, somewhat condescending father, and relates stories of his upside down childhood, tales of massive drug abuse, promiscuous sex and auto accidents. 

Mutant Olive - photos by Ed Krieger

Outrageous, exaggerated movements flitter through the non-stop evening as Mitch holds to his audition role, interspersing his family life, his own self-loathing, and ego airing his family’s dirty laundry.  His own despair of not being fully accepted and loved by his parents seeps through.  Somewhat repetitive,  and a bit tedious, the play extended longer than it probably should have.  The actor stressed that he wanted the play to make people comfortable about being who they are, even though it obvious that he is not comfortable about who he is.  “Even the ugliest events in our lives can become humor.  We not only survive, we thrive, being who we genuinely are.”  

The title from the play originates from when the actor, as a puggy child, was forced to dress in an olive green suit and obviously resented it.  

I respect the actor for putting his feelings and experiences out there, but after a while it became a bit much to handle.  While there were many comedic moments, there was a lot of sadness, as well.  The ending seemed artificial as he tells his father he forgives him, but does he really?  Although the event was interesting, I have a hard time recommending it. 

The great photography was gone by Ed Krieger.

 

Mutant Olive - photos by Ed Krieger

Now appearing at The Lounge Theatre, located at 6801 Santa Monica Blvd, the play performs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.  Tickets are $25 and can be had by calling 323-980-7861.  

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