Photos by Kerttu Karon

                                         I can fuckin’ kill you right now!

Photos by Kerttu Karon

What starts off as two couples sharing a mouth-watering meal escalates into a civil brawl, where taking on sides makes it worse. Gabe and Karen (Jake Esformes and Marieh Delfino make a good-looking duo) are a fun-loving twosome who love food and travelling. They recently returned from a tour in Italy, tasting all the delicious, authentic cuisine. They both go on and on to their artist friend Beth (Amy Motta) about the savory meals they enjoyed. It appears there is a person missing. There are three people but four chairs. The mystery guest is Beth’s attorney husband Tom (Leith Burke). As they fill up their dishes with savory pasta, Beth confesses that she and Tom are divorcing. Gabe and Karen are dumbfounded.

The story time travels from 2024, the night of the dinner, to 2012 when Gabe, Karen and Beth meet on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Gabe and Karen introduce Tom to Beth. They begin a courtship and eventually marry. Fast forward to 2024, the once passionate couple are divorcing. Gabe and Karen, being the wonderful friends they are, try to sympathize and comprehend what happened. In order to understand the present, it’s important to go back to the past and find out what triggered this unforeseen and disturbing event.

In present time, Tom and Beth’s break up affects Gabe and Karen. They go from understanding the former couple’s situation, to picking sides and in the process questioning their unshakeable bond. That is the heart of the story on how the reactions of others affect the people who have  issues. The 2000 Pulitzer Prize winner playwright Donald Margulies, dives deep into the heart, sorrowful emptiness among the couples. What once was reliable is now questioned. If it could happen to them, it could happen to us, is the expected response.

Margulies created a platform in which couples can relate to other couples. He isn’t afraid to get down to business, now matter how uncomfortable it becomes, and start what will be a lengthy conversation afterwards. His opus is universal, brutal, honest, and vivid. Take notes.

WHERE: Zephyr Theatre, located at 7456 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles
WHEN: Now until Sun, Apr.28. Thur through Sat at 8 p.m., Sun at 2 p.m.
WHY SEE IT: The truth is painful but it must be visible
RUN TIME: 100 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.
HOW MUCH: Fri and Sat $45; Sun matinee $35
INFO: www.OnStage411.com/Friends or by phone at (323) 965-9996