This Week In Theater
Written by Colin Mitchell
Review by Rose Desena
What is reality? That is the question of Breaking and Entering or is it? W.J Trumbull (Matthew Sklar) is a reclusive old curmudgeon who has reaped the ongoing profits of a best seller, published 50 years earlier. Somehow he was able to live very well from it, which is good because he never wrote another thing.
Trumbull is hanging out in his study drinking Scotch, slamming a manual typewriter and watching a World Series baseball game while behaving like some literary genius when the lights go out. What the heck that’s just wrong, its game seven of the World Series! Tough luck baby, missing the game is the least of your worries.
While he hunts for candles a burglar/ghost/fan, named Milly ( Katherine Canipe), breaks in through an open window and Voila! The story begins.
It seems Trumbull has a shady past full of things he should regret and Milly, who isn’t there to rob the joint, is going to make him fess up. In the meantime, the game is blasting away on a portable radio, and it appears to go on forever, which it does, 25 innings to be exact. Don’t worry it’s not on continuously and the two sports announcers (Jerry Chappell, Jason Britt), who appear in the background like figments of one’s imagination, break up the starkness of the dialog with their comedic style.
Milly is sarcastic and quick witted as she spars back and forth with Trumbull trying to convince him to read her book and write the forward so she can get it published. The story creatively and mysteriously moves on in layers revealing more truths about Trumbull’s past. Milly is a master at her game; she buries herself under his skin like a parasite relentlessly peeling away parts of his life exposing painful events and forcing him to admit things that would ruin him. His rage flares and so does his confusion. Who is she? Where am I? The World Series is on so it’s a little too early for the ghost of Christmas past.
Is the dear girl real or just an antagonist used merely as a physical prop to make him take some responsibility for the wrong doings in his life? YIKS!
This fun little tidbit, written by the infamous Colin Mitchell of LA Bitter-Lemons, explores the question of reality, conscience, death and questions what really happens when our lights go out?
This is a decent production done very simply in the black box setting of Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre. It deploys good use of the small stage and has respectable acting. Katherine Canipe does a very convincing job as Milly but Matthew Skylar’s one-note performance got a little obnoxious after the opening scene. Then again, you never know with Colin if that’s what he wanted. I wouldn’t put it past him to make a suggestion to the director: please annoy the audience as much as possible.
I like Colin’s writing, and this is very much his own. In spite of his sarcasm and cantankerous persona he is a pretty darn good writer. I think Breaking and Entering could use a little more work, to go into that in detail would reveal too much. There were open doors that I think needed a little more clarification. However, it is creative and amusing, and was a good topic for discussion on the way home. If you are a regular at Joe’s or live in close proximity to it, it’s worth checking out. The directing is good, and I like the use of the cartoon-like announcers.
Written by: Colin Mitchell
Cast: Matthew Sklar, Katherine Canipe, Jerry Chappell Jason Britt
Director: Sebastian Munoz
Zombie Joes Underground Theatre Group
THIS IS A SHORT RUN, closes November 29th – Friday and Saturday 830
4850 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood 818 202 4120 – www.ZombieJoes.com