This Week in Theater
“Painting in Red”
Review by Rose Desena
Fun upbeat and highly intellectual “Painting in Red” is a refreshing delight. Crisp acting and sharp directing bring to life every character.
Justin (Justin Huen) is a painter, obsessed with his subject who happens to be his wife. Christina (Christina Frias) is fiery and difficult and holds a secret close to her soul. Rodney (Rodney To) is Justin’s confidante and occasional lover. Now add Olivia Newton John (imagery) played by Jayme Lake and a ex- fiancé who is supposed to be dead as well as an eccentric couple who moved from the hood to the suburbs of Ventura and you have one heck of a tale.
Painting in Red is quick, just 75 minutes, but in that time I laughed, shook my head in agreement and felt a little sad. The cast wins you over in the first 5 minutes and you find yourself taking sides. The acting is excellent. I loved Elisa Bocanegra as the neurotic East LA girl who misses life amongst her people. Rodney is fabulous as the animated gay artist with his sharp wit and snappy tone.
The story wraps up with a good and unpredictable ending that just might leave you scratching your head, and tugging at your heart. Christopher Scott Murillo creates a great stage set that adds a certain artistic flair that made the stage mysterious.
Painting in Red is a winner. The show is not scheduled to run long but I would definitely try to catch this. It’s solid and has a lot of potential. I would like to see it picked up by a larger house. Good work Luis.
“Painting in Red”
A Playwright’s Arena Production in association with Greenway Arts Alliance.
Playwright: Luis Alfaro
Director: John Lawrence Rivera
Run’s Fri, sat, @ 8pm Sunday @ 7 pm. Until Nov. 9th.
Playwright’s Arena @ Greenway Court Theater, 544 N. Fairfax Ave. West Hollywood ca. Tickets and Info: www.playwrightsarena.org