Review: True West

Friday, October 4, 2019 0 Comments

Review: True West
There’s nothing like a story about a life-long rivalry between brothers.
And in True West, the late playwright Sam Shepard tests the relationship of two misfit siblings in dramatic and funny ways.
During a recent dress rehearsal, the audience at The Main Street Playhouse roared at some of the antics on stage.
Actors Christopher Millan as Lee and Tyler Grimes, who plays Austin, literally chew up the scenery.
It’s hard to believe the brothers came from the same mother, performed by Carol Sussman.
Austin, a straitlaced married man with a family, is writing a screenplay and house-sitting Mom’s Southern California home while she is away in Alaska.
And Lee, who burgles and drinks his way around the American west, drops in uninvited.
Austin is laboring over the film script he hopes to sell to Saul Kimmer, a hot shot Hollywood producer played by Kent Harris.
Lee decides Saul should produce Lee’s unwritten, western-themed tale and interferes in Austin’s movie deal.
Mayhem -- involving oasters, golf clubs and other unbound objects -- ensues. Eventually each brother behaves like the other.
It is revealed that the brothers’ anger and conflict stems from a father who apparently abandoned them, and their unquenchable envy for how the other’s life turned out.
The desert is presented as a place to escape from the norms of society. It’s somewhere that Lee goes, where their father lives and is a place, or idea, that Austin longs for.
Milan and Grimes have great chemistry that doesn’t waver through the two hours they are on stage.
Sussman had few lines and her character seemed to be a foil against murder happening between her sons.
Harris’s film producer makes promises, first to one brother and then the other. Harris portrays him as supremely confident in his tastes.
Directed by Isaac Polanco, True West will run through Oct. 20 at the Playhouse, at 6766 Main St.
Shows are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets cost $30, $25 for students and seniors.
There is profanity and violence. For information call 305-558-3737 or visit
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