[NoHo Arts District, CA] – A NoHo Arts Theater Review of the Cheshire Moon and Crimson Square Theater Company production of David Auburn’s “Lost Lake”, directed by Faye Viviana, starring Lisagaye Tomlinson and Craig Bachmann at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.
I saw several plays at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, all produced by the Crimson Square Theater Company, and all excellent. “Lost Lake” is no exception.
A brilliantly paced and emotional exploration of two people brought together, who normally would never have met, and how the intersection of their lives for a few days one summer changes them.
Veronica visits a potential lakeside rental with the intention of booking a week in the summer for her and her children. Hogan is the cabin’s owner and does his best to sell Veronica on the idea that his is the best cabin on the lake, despite its rundown condition and Veronica’s obvious reservations. Veronica hasn’t had much luck with the other cabins she’s visited, imagining that a recently widowed young black woman with two children doesn’t offer a good prospect for the extremely “conservative” locals. Hogan, however, seems very eager to rent to her, and although the cabin is rough around the edges, Veronica takes the plunge and leaves Hogan a deposit.
Fast forward several weeks when Veronica arrives with her children and finds that hardly any of the maintenance work that Hogan promised to do on the house has actually been done, his clothes are even still in the drawers and he needs a deep cleaning. Annoyed but determined to make the most of her time with her children, Veronica decides to stay.
She has other worries, she just lost her job as a nurse practitioner and is in real danger of losing her nursing license. Hogan has his own struggles, sleeping in his truck while he rents out his house and fighting with his brother who co-owns the cabin. The two discover a lot more about each other’s misfortunes than either of them would have ever liked and, in a way, become something of a friend.
They are two people from totally different backgrounds and with completely different pains and yet something changes for them because of each other. For better and for worse. It’s a play about expectations. The ones we have about ourselves and how our lives are meant to unfold. The ones we have on top of each other, even though we have no idea who or what “the other” is. And the ones we have about what each of us can ultimately do to change our destiny, alone or not.
LisaGaye Tomlinson is fascinating as Veronica. Icey, to the point of steel. Completely broken, but stoic in her pain and so human. She takes us on a whole journey from the first meeting to the last words. Really great work and totally believable.
Craig Bachmann as Hogan is his equal in every way. He gets to the heart of this character, what might have been stereotypical is nuanced and layered and thoroughly likable. Her ability to charm while clearly lying childishly, only hoping to please, is so effective.
So with these two wonderful actors and a room full of richly drawn drama and the hard, hard truth of the world, how could this performance be anything less than wonderful. The decor is also in the spotlight in this room, as it really does feel like a dingy little cabin by a lake in late summer.
“Lost Lake” is definitely an emotional roller coaster ride. We fall in love with these two people and their very “lost” lives.
The way they relate to each other, the little disappointments that are forgiven, and the deep understanding on a level they could never really know is what makes “Lost Lake” such an eye-opener. It’s a tender story of two people who save each other in completely different ways for no reason, but they can.
Watching their beautiful and very reluctant generosity of heart saves us a little too. There is so much animosity in the world – wars, hatred and distrust.
“Lost Lake” gives us a few hours into a world where there might be some hope for all of us. Cheer!
Only a few more weekends of this shine, so don’t delay!!
Until October 9
Friday and Saturday 8 p.m.
Sunday 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
254, boul. Robertson S. Beverly Hills, CA 90211