I hated myself for not writing that song. It fit my life completely. Tammy Wynette
Ms. Wynette knew what she was talking about. She married five times and still was lonely and depressed when she died in April 6, 1998 at 55. The three couples who are awaiting impatiently for their session to begin, could relate to Wynette’s melancholy song. Carol and Brian (Kelly Desarla and Albert Garnica). Carol raies money for the March of Dimes organization and Brian is a restaurateur. Carol’s boo keeps blowing up her phone with the ringtone “Candy Shop” by Grammy Award winner rapper 50 Cent. She takes the call during the session and Brian rolls his eyes and is beyond livid. They argue.
Tanya and Ken (Bri Ana Wagner and Anthony Backman) comes in already bickering. She’s a fashion model-actress and he’s an attorney. It would appear they would be the ideal power couple if they weren’t constantly squabbling. They are eight years deep in their marriage. Ken believes he has it made. Great looking trophy wife, making serious bank, his name cemented at a law firm and believes to be a real magnet for the women around him. But, he’s in therapy for a reason. The only thing keeping them together is their hot passion for each other. They are stopped before going further. “You guys have a strange relationship,” deadpans Brian still processing about the sex that was about to manifest. The last couple to join this dejected group are Angie and Doug (Patricia Mizen and Corbin Timbrook). She’s a marriage and family therapist and he’s a contractor. They are dealing with a serious issue with the loss of their 18-year old son.
In between the volley of arguments that ensues, the unseen but heard through the intercom, is the mediator. He informs the couples of a few delays but to sit tight. They continue their arguing as if the meditator didn’t say anything. Finally, the voice of reason has enough of everybody’s foolishness and says very loudly, “Every single one of you are fucken nuts.” He calls out everybody on their malicious behavior straight up with no chaser. Garnica is a force of hysterical nature! As Brian, he’s nervous, agitated and fed up with his life. He uses sarcasm as a shield to no get too close. Unfortunately, he has perfected this skill so wonderfully that Carol doesn’t like to deal with him. It’s his attention to the other couples problems is exceptio9nal. Just like ominous mediator, he calls it like he sees it.
Playwright Jeff Gould does an excellent job in combining the pain of a divorce, while taking quick, amusing jabs of the break up of a marriage. It is both heart wrenching and heartbreaking. But, a little bit of humor helps to pull away the bravado attitude until the rawness is felt. At the end, very little is said. Everyone leaves probably feeling humbled. They may continue therapy or not. It all depends on their commitment to stay strong and work it out.
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Divorce is a Skypilot Theatre presentation plays this Saturday, November 12th and 19th at 8 p.m. and ends Sunday the 20th at 3 p.m., located at 6440 Santa Monica Blvd in Los Angeles. Tickets are $0. Log-on to https://divorce.bpt.me/. Running time 2 hours and 20 min – one intermission. Proof of full vaccination plus booster required for entry. Masks are optional.