What is our path to escape?

Photos by Grant Terzakis

It’s clear that playwright Jason Milligan, or at least to me, was inspired by two of Quentin Tarantino’s thrilling, gangster movies, Reservoir Dogs, (1992) and of course Pulp Fiction, (1994). Two of my favorite movies. There’s a song “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon” by Neil Diamond, from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack plays. Like the Oscar winner, Milligan’s characters are colorful and a diabolical trip. Max and Bobby (Nick Osborne and Anthony Casablanca, respectively) are on a mission, not from God but for the ominous boss (Billy Walker) who is God-like with an attitude.
The assignment sounds like any typical job. Find the mook and kill him. Well, Bobby stabbed the wrong mook. As the dynamic duo drive from New York to Vermont, they try to find the right way to tell the boss about the major screw up. Bobby enjoys being a gangster. According to Max, Bobby likes wearing $1200 suits and enjoys his $75 haircut. Think of a younger and much more slimmer and attractive, John Gotti. Bobby was meant for this life. If only he would stop talking so damn much, he would be the ideal mobster.
As Bobby takes the wheel, Max starts taking notes. He’s very secretive about what he’s writing until Bobby rips it away from his hands. Max is writing about the jobs he and Bobby have done and what they are currently working on. It’s not hard to guess that the boss will not be happy with that. Bobby keeps warning Max to stop writing, but tunes him out. The two men couldn’t be more different if they tried. Max is serious and to the point, whereas Bobby looks like he belongs in a Colgate commercial showing his brilliant, white smile. Before giving the boss the bad news, the two make a stop at an Ihop restaurant to strategize.
Between bites of bacon and blueberry pancakes, the men figure out how to tell the legendary boss man the truth. God save them!! In the middle of the chaos, Max is having gruesome nightmares of past killings and it’s affecting his sleep. Meanwhile, Bobby sleeps well and is ready for the next adventure.
Director Wolfgang Bodison, y’all might remember him from the 1992 movie, “A Few Good Men,” as Lance Corporal Harold Dawson charged with the murder of a private, does an excellent job in executing Milligan’s work. The dialogue is sharp, humorous and on point. Simple everyday stuff suddenly become magnified. For instance, Bobby complains that the country smells. Max retorts how Bobby thinks the city smells any better. Bobby responds by saying that, “The city don’t smell at all. It’s like, neutered. It’s immune.”
The play is designed for quick dashes of scenes. The audience doesn’t see the stabbing take place, however, they know it happened because it goes directly on Bobby sawing the poor man’s body. The ability to move from one scenario to another without missing a beat, is perfect for this show. The action is quick, the language is faster, the characters are believable and fun to watch, and the story is one hell of an amazing ride.

WHERE: Playhouse West – Magnolia, located at 10634 Magnolia Blvd, in North Hollywood
WHEN: Only on Sundays from Sun, Apr.28th until May 5th, at 2 p.m.
RUN TIME: 2 hours with a 15-minute intermission.
HOW MUCH: Tickets start at $10