KNIFE TO THE HEART

                      She’s in the NRA and goes to Rodeo. What kind of Jew does that?
Rhonda

Photos by Kim Beavers

I don’t know how playwright Stan Zimmerman (Pledge and Meet & Greet) does it, but, he has another hit on his hands. About a few months ago, he came out with Yes, Virginia about two mature women dealing with death and pot. Now he deals with a Dallas couple on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Is nothing scared to this talented playwright? Does he really need to dissect the dynamics of relationships until there’s nothing left but the funny? I really hope he doesn’t stop. Zimmermann has a knack of tearing down the walls of a seemingly idyllic life and rings out the bare truth with a lot of humor showing the humanity in a tight situation. He has brought on writer Christian McLaughlin to join in the madness and it works damn well.

In this case, married couple Marshall and Julie Ann Katz (Josh Zuckerman and Andrea Bowen are wildly hysterical) learn that they will be parents to twin boys. Marshall’s mother Rhonda (Anne DeSalvo is high energetic fun), is over the moon about becoming a glam ma. Now she can spoil her new grandsons until it encourages the parents to choke on valium. The celebration quickly ends when the topic of circumcision comes up. Rhonda insists that a bris, a Jewish ceremony where a male baby is circumcised on the eight day of his life. Marshall and Julie Ann aren’t feeling that and that saddens Rhonda.

Soon the couple argue over Rhonda’s insistence on the bris. Thank goodness for the humorous interference of next door neighbor Deacon (the absolute outstanding Todd Sherry) to ease the tension. He is also happy to hear about Julie’s pregnancy and immediately plans her baby shower which includes hefty gift bags and cartoon pictures of black babies to stick on the wall. He is filled with wise advice, good jokes and an overall good spirited man who has a lot to say. He painfully recalls a terrible moment during his teen years when he was surrounded by mean boys in the bathroom. He survived but it did scar him.

The show is uproariously hysterical from start to finish. Zimmerman and McLaughlin do an excellent job executing seriousness with dashes of humor in the mix. Sherry is a wonderful standout with his outrageous and blunt humor. DeSalvo is a gem showing both her concern and happiness of becoming a grandmother. Zuckerman and Bowen make the perfect couple. This is one of the best shows playing right now.

Knife to the Heart plays until Sunday, May 20th at 3 p.m., Friday, May 18th and Saturday, May 19th at 8 p.m., at the Dorie Theatre inside The Complex located at 6476 Santa Monica Blvd, in Los Angeles. For tickets, log on to www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3360727.

 

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