“The Recom- mendation” Review by Rose Desena

This Week in Theater

 

                     “The Recommendation”

 Written by JONATHAN CAREN

Review by Rose Desena

 

Feldman (Adam Shapiro) and Dwight (Malcolm Barrett) are two young men from opposite sides of the social divide.   Feldman grew up in Brentwood while Dwight’s father is struggling Ethiopian immigrant.

 

Besides the obvious differences, Feldman is everything Dwight isn’t. Things come easily to Feldman. He is confident, secure, with a slick charismatic personality.  He has been taught how to maneuver and get what he needs using people and connections.

 

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Dwight is alone, shy, and asks for nothing. He has to work to get anywhere and has low expectations.  Although he is smart and works hard, he is not familiar with the kind of social power that Dwight has learned.

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They meet in college as roommates, and their lives intertwine as they both venture through their college days.  Dwight sells pot to support himself, and Feldman takes care of their social calendar, which comes naturally.

 

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They get through school without any hiccups.  Feldman’s father is a well-connected lawyer in LA, and he is happy to give Dwight a letter of recommendation that gets him a scholarship to law school.  After a few intern jobs, Feldman succeeds at producing films, and Dwight graduates from law school and gets a job at a large firm.  They both seem to be living their dream lives, until; oh, there wouldn’t be much of a story if we didn’t have an UNTIL.

 

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Years later their friendship is pushed to the limit as questions of loyalty and ethics come between them. When Iskinder confronts Feldman in sports club’s steam room all hell breaks loose. The story digs deeper into both of their lives and explores the rights and wrongs of our current society.

 

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Jonathan Caren (Writer) and Laura Savia (Director) use the stage as their canvas to paint a grim picture of a world where color, money, and connections rule.  This is a hard story, full of painful truths, but it is expertly presented with brilliant acting and a stunning stage set.

 

It’s a really good production, and if it were just cut a little to 90 minutes it would be perfect. A few scenes did drag a little, particularly the last scenes, but it doesn’t take away from the quality of the production or change the message which was loud and clear: The playing field is not level.  But was it ever?

 

                    “The Recommendation”

Written by JONATHAN CAREN

Directed by Laura Savia

Photos by Dean Cechvala

Cast: Malcolm Barrett, Brandon Scott, and Adam Shapiro.

The running schedule is Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 7pm through March 9 only. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online at www.iamatheatre.com

or by calling (323) 645-0134.

Theatre Asylum, 6320 Santa Monica Boulevard (just west of Vine),

in Hollywood, 90038. Street parking is available.

 


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