A wonderful production that causes the audience member to think about life, and the people in one’s life in a manner they may not have done before; To Quiet The Quiet is a bold and interesting production that will keep you guessing from start to finish. Playwright Christy Hall has fashioned a three actor production that gives a glimpse into the life of a woman with serious schizophrenia. Director Barbara Bain and producers Sean Thomas have given the latitude needed for the actors to not only learn but own their characters, which in turn gives the audience the opportunity to fully understand the depth and horror of such a difficult and traumatizing experei9nce in a person’s life.
Actress Lisa Richards portrays Kathy, an aging divorcee who lives alone, trying to cope with the regrets, pains, and perceived realities of her life. Having been married to Todd, portrayed by Stephen Mendillo, having had a beautiful little girl, Julia (not in the production) and then losing her, Kathy turns to her long lost childhood friend, Quinn, portrayed by Michael Friedman, for help and guidance on how to deal with the circumstances that she now finds herself in. I will not give away the story, as it is something to behold, and to do so would be totally unfair to my readers who might desire to see the wonderful psychological drama. What I will say, is that regardless of what you, as the audience member, think the story is all about, or what you think might happen in the production, you will likely be wrong and surprisingly shaken by the truth of the programs story line.
Each of these performers deserves accolades for excellent work, but the spotlight of this production is truly Lisa Richards. This very talented woman embraces the realities of loss, pain, anguish, heart-ache, anger, retribution, and a desire to change the life she now finds herself in with poise and passion that makes the audience believe she has a truly intimate understanding of each and every aspect of the story. Though Ms. Richards is not your typical actress, she controls the stage and the story with such grace and professionalism that it is a wonder and beauty to behold. I wish to congratulate her for understanding and delivering a performance that opens the eyes in a way not expected. I would also like to mention the powerful, yet somewhat mysterious performance given by Michael Friedman. This young man gives a detail and control that starts the production off on the right foot, and keeps the audience guessing until the last few moments of the story.
To Quiet The Quiet is being performed at the Elephant Stages Theatre, which is a powerful little theatre house that has become known for its poignant and personal productions. The facility, while intimate in nature and design, is located on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Lillian in the heart of Hollywood on the Theatre Row. Parking is somewhat confusing, street parking only, and sometimes hard to find, but the productions at this theatre always make the struggle worth the experience. Prices are always reasonably priced for the quality of programming offered, and though an intimate setting, the audience always leaves grateful for having had the experience. This production is one that is not appropriate for younger audience members who may not understand the subtle complexities of the human mind, heart, and psychological condition. It is however, a powerful and purposeful production that is more than worthy of the intelligent theater goers dollar. Bravo!
The California Theatre Critic