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"thought provoking and poetic..."
- Mary Mallory - TOLUCAN TIMES
"Inspired acting, passionate Direction, all contribute to a very Good Thing"
- Amy Lyons - ENCINO SUN
"A one-two emotional punch"
- Amy Lyons - STUDIO CITY SUN
"Good Thing" is a classic dramedy with complex storylines and characters, and the stellar acting makes it even more of a must-see."
- Kristen Imoden - THE LOYOLAN
THE TICKET STUB
Los Angeles is blessed with an abundance of gifted actors, writers, directors, musicians and background support talents who perform on small, equity waiver stages. Good Thing, now playing on the Hudson mainstage, is the latest example of that great fortune for small theater aficionados.
With an opening set of large boxes in a sporting goods store that morphs handsomely into a multi-use interior setting, and with delicate piano strains in the background we meet a group of uniformly superb actors playing out painful relationship dramas that occur when men and women try and bond
intimately. While sex seems so easy and exciting, everything afterwards seems so hard as six people attempt genuine, caring moments of communication but repeatedly hit the wall.
We meet Dean, the ambivalent father of a new baby with regrets over lost opportunities and a feeling of being trapped, his wife Mary, a tortured cocaine addicted woman locked in her room for her own good, Dean's dependent addict brother who lives with them, Dean's ex-girlfriend Liz, lost already and desperate in her regrets of having left Dean years earlier, along with a childless couple, Nancy and John, married for 20 years who are in the midst of a relationship crisis and the pain of their failure to conceive.
How this disparate group comes together in fully believable but surprising twists and turns of plot and with impressive naturalistic acting of the beautifully crafted script of Jessica Goldberg and the imaginative direction of B. Swibel, is the pleasure of this play.
Good Thing is much more than a good thing, its a MUST SEE! Long live small theater in Los Angeles.
Herb Goldberg - THE TICKET STUB
The show's title Good Thing seems to bring the promise of a light evening, but this show by playwright Jessica Goldberg, while not a complete downer, is far from light. There are moments of laughter along with brutal candor as the characters are forced to face issues they desire to forget. The name doesn't come close to describe how six people swim in their misery, while using amusing comebacks as ammunition and a life preserver.
Nancy and John (Julie Lancaster and Derek Voy) are a married couple whose 20-year-old marriage is shaky due to John's recent affair. The relationship becomes further strained when John runs into Liz (Kaily Smith) a former student who has returned to her hometown. She turns to him for life advice, which doesn't make Nancy too happy. This couple try to leave on their planned vacation to Maine both with different hopes on how to save their marriage. The two are at a crossroads until Liz comes in with a seemingly perfect solution.
Elsewhere, Liz's one-time boyfriend Dean (Dylan Osean), who chose to stay behind in Texas as a construction worker instead of going to college, baby-sits his coke addicted brother Bobby (David Weidoff) and his wife of seven months Mary (Dara Goldman), whose drug habit threatens their unborn child. Their home is a powder keg ready to explode. Dean and Liz 'casually' meet up and both are curious about each other's choices. She's surprised he stayed home when he had the chance to leave for school; he's suspicious why she is back in town when she made a big deal in leaving after graduation.
Osean, in his first play, portrays Dean with the right amount of stubborn and vulnerability. Dean is all around facetious, a big drinker but watches out for Bobby like a big brother would do. Osean and Weidoff work off from each other like a polished comedy duo. As Bobby, he is a fountain of truth and hysterical amusement, but he cannot say no to drugs. I liked how child-like and sweet he was when the moment called for it and then back to the cokehead with the sharp remarks. Goldman was heart wrenching as the troubled Mary, who doesn't back down when faced with the educated Liz. The country girl who got knocked up makes a worthy adversary. She stands on her own, although wobbly against the college dropout.
Voy and Lancaster are amazing and convincing as the troubled couple. She portrays well the wife who doesn't know if she can continue in a marriage but knows she wants to be a mother. Voy tolerates her fury as patiently as any man would when he knows he slipped up.
So, what is the good thing in the Good Thing? It looks a lot like life itself. As young adults, we map out our lives to the letter and don't account for any mishaps. Crushed dreams and disappointments are not part of the plan. Then life laughs its hysterical head probably wondering when we're going to get it right.
Good Thing plays at Hudson Main Stage Theatre. The show will run until March 17th!
- Mary Emerita Montoro, Contributing Writer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Leigh McLeod Fortier or Sandra Kuker (323) 960-7779
Begins January 25, 2007
You’ll recognize a Good Thing
when you see it.
Play praised by Variety and others comes to the Hudson Mainstage
January 25 EXTENDED through March 17, 2007
(Los Angeles, CA) (November, 2006)... Good Thing, a comedy written by Jessica Goldberg and brought to the stage by Red Ladders Productions, is coming to the Hudson Mainstage beginning January 25, 2007. The play gives lyrical voice to those who are at a loss for direction and desperate for a sense of meaning and fulfillment—in other words, all of us some of the time and some of us all of the time.
Praise for Good Thing
"…playwright Jessica Goldberg puts forth an ambitiously eclectic aesthetic, a blend of gritty social drama, poetic humor and unsubtle existential contemplation… Good Thing demonstrates her worthwhile voice in examining lost, angst-ridden or drug-addled people who genuinely wish to improve their lives but don't know how…With an assured sense of what makes great theater, Goldberg gives her actors plenty of length of tightrope to leap from…" — Variety
About the Ensemble
Dara Goldman, Kaily Smith and David Weidoff are graduates of the prestigious University of Southern California’s BFA program.
Brian Swibel is an Actor-Director-Producer. With the founding of his first theatre company, World Tribe Players, he Directed innovative productions of such works as Cowboy Mouth, Daniel MacIvor’s House, Orpheus Descending, Uncle Vanya, The Entertainer, Temporary Help, Falconer, and Base, an original short play conceived under the tutelage of internationally acclaimed Director Anne Bogart, as well as educational theatre programming in collaboration with New Mexico’s Zia Pueblo entitled The Zia Theatre Project. After co-founding a brother company dedicated to film, Starmaker Productions, Bri co-wrote and starred in a set of critically acclaimed short films, Sunset Town and Fault, the latter of which garnered a Kodak Emerging Filmmaker Award in the Cannes Film Festival.
Under his new banner, B. Swibel Presents, Bri continues to Produce and develop. In 2006, he helped open Family Secrets, Directed by Bob Balaban, off-Broadway. He will Co-Produce Xanadu the Musical, based on the film, with book by Douglas Carter Beane and music by the Electric Light Orchestra, set to open Spring 2007. Among other projects for the theater, he is also developing the musical To Die For, based on the film starring Nicole Kidman and novel by Joyce Maynard. For film, Bri is currently developing feature pictures with Elijah Wood (Like We Care), writer Micky Levy and Director Sunu Gonera (15 To Life), writer Tom Matthews (Commanding The Chief), and Archie Comics Entertainment, among several others.
Brian is currently set to star in an independent television pilot entitled Four On Tour from new writer Adam Vine. Directing Good Thing is his first return to the Los Angeles theatre scene since starring in Harold Becker’s production of Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot at the Elephant Asylum in 2004.
Playwright: Jessica Goldberg
Production Company: Red Ladders Productions
Producers: Kaily Smith and Jacqui Shapiro
Director: Brian Swibel
Cast (in alphabetical order):
Good Thing runs through March 17, 2007. Performances are at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood on Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $20. Running time is 90 minutes, with ample street parking, wheelchair access and concessions available.
For information and reservations, call (323) 960-7735 or RESERVE ONLINE: www.plays411.com/goodthing.
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