This Week in Theater
Review by Rose Desena
Vince Melocchi (playwright) brings us a brutally honest story about the hidden pains of war, and the effect it has on all those who for one reason or another are willing participants.
A small economically suppressed town seems a “make your quota” haven for military recruiter Bobbie Jo (Rebekah Tripp). She is only two eager to follow her orders and get these young men and women to take a chance on the one thing that can change their lives, that is if they live to make those changes.
Amy (Connor Kelly-Eiding) suffers the loss of her fiancé and seeks answers. However, getting answers from Bobbie Joe will not come easy as the two women face off, each with an agenda, in their emotionally driven anger.
Sandy (Amy Harmon – alternate for Melanie Lyons) is Bobbie Jo’s lover and another victim of the trails and tribulations of war. She fights her own battle, trying to help her damaged lover cope with the after effects of being on the front line in the war in Afghanistan, and then sending young recruits to experience the same horrors. It’s a place that is so ugly the visions stay forever with those who are lucky enough to survive.
Elina de Santos (director) was a good choice to man (or in this case “woman”) the helm for this one. She is not only a passionate director but has a knack for allowing some of her emotions to help with her directing style. The production moves nicely and the stage set done by the RM stage set “Queen” Stephanie Kerley Schwartz was stark and hard, matching the theme well. The character development was spot on and I liked the interaction between all three women, even though there relationships were very different.
This is the latest addition to Vince Melocchi’s works, and developed at Rogue Machine. Although it’s not perfect, I trust Melocchi will make some changes. It did seem a little drawn out, perhaps because of the pacing and I thought it should have ended in an earlier scene. However, it’s a thought provoking piece and pretty good as is, with a subject matter that is very dear to my heart.
Nice Things has a powerful and lasting message that left me deep in thought as I pondered the burning question, “is our military really on a volunteer basis? Is war worth the price?
I am grateful to the Rouge Machine for bringing us such a good line up of compelling dramas and allowing good talented playwrights a place to shine.
Give this a go, it’s politically important, at a time when we need to take a good hard look at these questions.
Written by: Vince Melocchi
Directed by Elina de Santos
Cast: Michael Hanson, Rebekah Tripp, Melanie Lyons (Amy Harmon-Alternate), and Connor Kelly-Eiding.
Runs: 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, 3pm on Sundays through November 23.
ROGUE MACHINE, 5041 W. Pico Blvd., LA, CA 90019. Tickets are $30 (discounts for military & students). Reservations: 855-585-5185 or at www.roguemachinetheatre.com