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Kathryn Graf's "Hermetically Sealed" Packs a Powerful Punch at the Skylight Theatre

Posted By Karen Young On October 27, 2011 @ 8:58 am In Arts & Culture,Featured,My Daily Find,Theater | 6 Comments

BY KAREN YOUNG

Former Studio City resident and award-winning writer Kathryn Graf is back from her  Connecticut home for the world premiere of her one-act play, Hermetically Sealed, presented by the Katselas Theatre Company at the Skylight Theatre in Los Feliz.


Hermetically Sealed reveals a family whose world is kept together in the confines of a kitchen filled with raspberry tarts and lemon bars. Tessie (Gigi Bermingham) is a rather frazzled pastry chef and mother of two teenage sons, Jimmy (played by understudy Jonathan Griffin Sterling on opening night) who gives off both both defiance and congeniality, and Conor (Nicholas Podany), a video game addict who straddles a fine line between being a self-centered teen and a protective son.

This slice of life play takes place in Tessie’s kitchen  and Conor’s video game sanctum. The story unfolds slowly with the family’s daily routine.  Tessie is frantically trying to get an order of baked goods made while heeding the demands of her son — but you get the feeling that something is amiss. The pace changes when a couple — Dale Jr. (Julia Prud’homme), and her husband, Dale Sr. (Brendan Patrick Connor)  — arrive to pick up their order of baked goods. It is then that secrets start to unravel.

Graf fills her characters’ candid dialogue with humor, sarcasm, regret and sadness  — and some poignant one line zingers.  Joel Polis carefully directs the production pulling real emotions from the actors and building the plot to a crescendo.  Jeff McLaughlin’s set design is quite realistic for such a small theater, complete with a sink with running water.

Playwright Kathryn Graf

The performances are strong, particularly highlighted by high school sophomore Podany who is a huge surprise on this small stage, delivering an intense, mature and layered performance that is far beyond his years. Bermingham plays Tessie’s fragility with care and contemplation;  Prud’homme’s Dale Jr. is a larger than life character who spits out Graf’s dialogue in gun slinging patter; Connor plays Dale Sr. with understated sleaze.

Hermetically Sealed builds slowly, but when the secrets are revealed, it packs a powerful punch that stays with you long after the play is over.

Hermetically Sealed plays Friday and Saturday (8 p.m.) and Sunday (7 p.m.)  through November 20. Skylight Theate1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave. L.A. 90027. Tickets are $10-$29.99. Reservations: 702 KTC-TKTS (702-582-8587) or online at www.ktctickets.com. Also check for tickets on Goldstar. 90 minutes, plays without an intermission

Karen Young is the Founder/Editor of My Daily Find. Email karen@mydailyfind.com

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