Some of Eye Spy LA's favorite places to go & things to do anytime. READ MORE
|"Other good sites for free or inexpensive activities and up-to-the-minute tips are EyeSpyLA.com, sf.funcheap.com, and londonforfree.net.” - shopping & travel writer Jennifer Paull for FOXNEWS.com|
"Just wanted to tell you how much I look forward to seeing your Eye Spy in my In Box. Keep up the good work....you are my social secretary!"
We get mail
"Had the most incredible time at the New Boyz free concert today with
my kids. Would never had known about it if not for your website. Thank you!!" -Elizabeth T
"Thank you so much for putting out this great resource! I just saw the hot air balloon festival and am over the moon happy about it!
Thanks & have a GREAT weekend:-)" - Ann
"Eye Spy LA is the greatest events calendar for LA. Period. Not only do we always list our Spirited Woman events in it and have pulled great results - but it is my own weekly "whats-going-on" bible, and I personally don't make a plan before checking the listings." - Nancy Mills Founder, Spirited Woman
"I so look forward to this [newsletter] every Friday. Thank you" - Icetea3
"Thank you for writing wonderful editions of Eye Spy LA. Every Fri. I look forward to open my e-mail. It comes so handy to know about places or events that my family and I can attend on the weekends. Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season!!!!" - Patricia Arias
FREE Eye Spy LA
Don't miss out on free & discount ticket offers, contests and all of the other fun things to do in LA each week. Take a look at some past issues HERE
ABOUT EYE SPY LA
The local's Guide for events,
places to go, and things to do.
EDITOR: Andrea Kirk
THE LETTERS REALLY DELIVERS AT THE NEWPLACE THEATRE IN NOHO
By Mike Buzzelli
TELL YOUR FRIENDS
|When Anna Borisovna (Julia Fletcher), editor and archivist for the Soviet Ministry of Information, is summoned to the office of the Director (Norman Snow), an epic battle of wits begins in John W. Lowell’s thought-provoking two hander, The Letters. |
In 1931, Russia’s Ministry of Information itself is a punch line. Anna’s job is to redact documents that compromise the ideals of the Soviet society.
She is summoned to the office of the Director on the pretense that she is to be promoted.
The two of them discuss her latest project. She and her co-workers are poring over the personal effects of a great Soviet composer, a hero of the people. Unfortunately, the composer’s personal letters are sexually explicit and detail his ‘perverse’ nature (Anna and the Director dance around the subject of perversion, but the name of the composer and the nature of his sexual proclivities are never spoken). She and her comrades must redact large passages of text. She elucidates, “Director, hardly a diary entry was noted, hardly a personal letter written where there were not fully limned accounts of the man’s sexual exploits. In some cases it’s been impossible to leave more than the salutation and the signature.”
It is surmised that if the content of the letters were revealed to the public, it would mar the Communist ideals and damage the composer’s reputation. Of course, all hell breaks loose, when the aforementioned letters go missing. It is suspected that the letters have been smuggled out of the government office.
Anna’s colleague, Pavel Alexandrovich accuses another office worker, Josef Mikhailovich, of absconding with the letters. Mikhailovich’s apartment is searched and he is arrested. Anna’s interview becomes an interrogation. Not only is her promotion in jeopardy, her life may be as well.
The Director suspects that Anna knows more about the disappearance of the documents, and Anna’s secrets begin to bubble to the surface.
The Director perceives himself as loyal to the government and not as a villain, but pursues his version of justice with Machiavellian glee; he believes the ends justify the means (Subtextual commentary about the parallel to Pre-Glasnost Russia and the Bush years notwithstanding).
Anne McNaughton oversees this suspenseful political potboiler (There was a small problem with blocking; in maneuvering the two performers around the tiny space, the actor’s faces aren’t visible during key dramatic moments). One note about the performance space: Anna lights up a cigarette or two and the venue is not properly ventilated for anyone allergic or annoyed by the smoke.
Lowell’s script is witty and crisp. Fletcher gives a masterful performance. She is the very model of humble editor stuck in a perfunctory role. Snow stumbled a few lines on opening night, but he is a fine actor with enormous talent. His character seethes with inner rage, a “simple soldier in charge of intellectuals.”
Dean Cameron’s set is perfectly suited to reflect a dreary Communist government office, complete with a Communist flag and stately photographs of Stalin and Lenin.
The Letters really delivers.
- Mike Buzzelli
The Letters runs from March 14 to April 18
NewPlace Theatre, 10950 Peach Grove Street, North Hollywood, CA 91601)
Follow Eye Spy LA
TELL YOUR FRIENDS
FREE Eye Spy LA
Don't miss out on free & discount ticket offers
and all of the other fun things to do in LA each week.
MONTHLY LA EVENTS CALENDAR
ART THIS WEEK IN L.A.