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Aging Baby Boomers in the San Fernando Valley Rock on in “That Perfect Moment”

Posted By Karen Young On October 25, 2009 @ 11:33 pm In Arts & Culture,Featured,spotlight,Theater | 1 Comment

AmyLyons90BY AMY LYONS

Watching a person past his or her prime cling to younger days can be slightly awkward at best, downright disturbing in many cases. Writers Charles Bartlett and Jack Cooper risk putting audiences in that uncomfortable place with “That Perfect Moment,” a play about four middle-aged San Fernando Valley guys trying to reunite their ’60s-era rock band. We’re not hard-wired to gravitate toward stories of wash-ups, people who don’t realize their dreams died when arthritis started kicking in, but the play turns out to be a sweet story of doing the best you can with what you’ve got.

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(l-r) Bruce Katzman, Guerin Barry, John Bigham and Tait Ruppert. Photo: Ed Krieger

Mark Vanowen (Tait Ruppert) is the catalyst for the reunion of “The Weeds” and he’s hung on to his long hair and layabout attitude just to prove he can totally rock. Mark’s wife (Kelly Lester) is tired of his dead-end life, so she splits the scene at the outset. Enter Gabriel Vesper (Guerin Barry) and Albert Teesdale (John Bigham) – if you’re noticing a Valley-centric pattern to these last names, you’re keeping up – Mark’s former bandmates. The three guys get stoked when they talk about a new song, a possible tour, and a full-on re-birth of the band. Then Skip Chandler (Bruce Katzman), the fourth band member, shows up and is now an all-grown-up, moneybags Republican. Owner of all the rights to the songs, Skip quashes the rock n’ roll fantasy faster than he can flash his fancy cuff links.

Needless to say, bickering ensues and memory lane gets strolled. There are laughs, screaming matches, healing of old hurts and revelations of new hardships.

Rick Sparks directs with his usual stylish flare, especially as he tracks the journey of Mark’s absentee wife. Bruce Katzman gives a standout performance as the odd man out, bringing subtle sadness and a self-aware sense of humor to a character that could be played as entirely unlikeable. Original songs by Sky Keegan fit the bill to a tee.

That Perfect Moment Performances: Through January 17: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm:  Sundays at 3 pm
The Little Victory Theatre 3324 W. Victory Blvd Burbank, CA 91505 323-960-7745 or online at www.plays411.com/perfect

TICKETS:
General admission: $25
Seniors 65+: $5.00 off; use Promo Code SENIOR

Amy Lyons is a professional freelance journalist and theatre critic, with a degree in Theatre Arts and English from UMass, Boston. She started her journalism career at The Boston Globe and is a member of the Drama Critics Circle. Her articles, theatre reviews and photos regularly appear in numerous publications, including the Beverly Press, Valley Life Magazine, the Santa Monica Mirror and www.nohoartsdistrict.com

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