Lost Angeles is the best written, best acted new comedy I’ve seen this year.   
Caroline Treadwell has created ten alternately irritating/lovable (i.e.
human) Generation Xers, put them in real life situations, and let the
audience be flies on the wall, watching these very real people experience
the joys and pains of falling  in and out of love.

There’s Charlie and Marin, whose relationship may have run its course; Anna
and  Julian, out on a first date; ditto lesbians Celine and Beth, who met on
myspace; Hernan and Suela, brother and sister making a new life north of
the border; Tom, a down-on-his-luck pro golfer with a connection to at least
three of the abovementioned characters; and Reese, a stoner Starbucks

If you want to know more of the plot, you’ll have to read someone else’s
review.  To give away more of what transpires over the course of one Los
Angeles evening  would be to spoil the play’s many surprises, one of the
pleasures of Lost Angeles  being the discovery of the connections between
these ten very funny and flawed  young people.

The cast is uniformly excellent, beginning with Seamus Dever.  Having seen
Dever  in numerous fine productions (Pera Palas, Clutter, iWitness), I knew
that the presence of this dynamic young actor would be reason enough to
see Lost Angeles, and I was proven right. As golf pro Tom, Dever has one of
the most complex characters (what does that sudden kiss mean, anyway?)
and several  long and funny monologues to deliver, which he does to
perfection.  The rest of the cast were discoveries for me, and I look forward
to seeing what each has in store in  the future. Kevin Hoffer is the most
adorably nerdy biochemist imaginable and his scenes with lovely Ruth Livier
made them my favorite “couple” of the evening and  the storyline I was
most invested in.  Ashleigh Sumner is a lesbian cutie unsure of  what the
beautiful Kristen Ariza could possibly seen in her.  Porter Kelly’s  overprotective
Marin, Alejandro Cardenas’ long suffering Hernan, and Sandra Cevallos’
feisty Suela are fully realized creations. Finally, Adam Donshik and Daniel 
Billet (as the barista and a just spurned boyfriend) have one of the funniest  
slapstick sequences in memory. These are truly ten of the finest young actors
living in “Lost Angeles.”

One of the things that makes Lost Angeles work so well is that it could just as
easily have been a drama as a comedy. As the saying goes, there’s a fine
line between comedy and tragedy, and Treadwell has chosen to travel the
comic road. This is  not a Neil Simon style one-liner based comedy, however,
but a very funny play  about very serious situations. The laughs come out of
the characters and the situations Treadwell has placed them in: the
awkwardness of a blind date when all you seem to be able to do is put your
foot in your mouth again and again;  wanting to take your girlfriend on a
very special date when all she wants to do is  stay in phone contact with her
quite possibly “damsel in distress” best friend, worry that a career in
biochemistry might be linked to the serial killer gene… (Well that last one is a
bit farfetched…but funny!)

None of Lost Angeles’ ten young people is quite what he/she seems at first
glance,  and one of the play’s greatest successes is watching characters
who appear to  be one thing suddenly surprise you by being something
completely different.  Though Lost Angeles runs over two and a half hours, I
kept wondering, “What  next?”, my interest never once flagging.  This was a
play whose plot lines so involved me that I found myself wanting to talk
back to the characters (Turn off the damn cell phone, Anna!) and torn
between wanting a scene to go on longer  and the desire to get back to
other characters’ story lines.

Joe Camareno has done an outstanding job as director, keeping the pace 
moving swiftly and the characters grounded in reality. Working with
Sheldon  Metz’ excellent multi-location set and John J. Grant’s mood-setting
lighting,  Camareno and crew keep the many scene changes almost
instantaneous, so  that the pace never lags. Morgan McCauley’s sound
design (lots of intrusive cell phone ring tones and well chosen background
tunes) and Eloise Petro’s character  appropriate costumes are also major

Despite Lost Angeles’ running time, I kept wishing for more time with these  
characters.  I loved them, they drove me up the wall, I wanted them to shut
up, I  wanted them to keep talking, I wanted each of them to find what he
or she was searching for. That’s life, isn’t it? I guess that’s why I loved Lost

Lillian Theater, 1078 N. Lillian Way, Hollywood.

–Steven Stanley
October 13, 2007

Comments are closed.