Photo by Daren Scott
Shana Wride in 2.5 Minute Ride
Diversionary Theatre is presenting two well-known and compelling works by Lisa Kron in rotating repertory. Kron’s 2.5 Minute Ride, a solo show starring Shana Wride (as Kron) and directed by Rosina Reynolds, is a devastatingly honest account of the author’s trip with her father to Auschwitz, where his parents were exterminated. It’s told simultaneously with the hapless story of Kron and her dysfunctional family’s trip to a Midwest amusement park. Wride is remarkable in the recounting of both stories, which, when woven together, testify to Kron’s love for her father.
In Well, the playwright is portrayed by Samantha Ginn, and rather than being a one-person show, this is a meta-theatrical piece in which we watch Kron’s character create, scene by scene, a “theatrical observation” that she tells us is NOT about her relationship with her mother (Annie Hinton). Of course, it is precisely that to a large degree, though this premise is also the avenue in which Kron explores larger societal issues, like racism. The other players in Kron’s exploration (Cashae Monya, Tiffany Tang, Adam Cuppy and Durwood Murray) add considerable vitality to the storytelling.
2.5 Minute Ride and Well run in rotating repertory through March 19 at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights. $15-$45. Diversionary.org
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There are moments, during the North Coast Rep’s The Illusion, when it’s like you’re watching clothes talking to each other. Elisa Benzoni’s costumes (and while we’re at it, Peter Herman’s wigs) for this production of Tony Kushner’s literary fairytale are that splendid. But somehow who’s wearing the clothes doesn’t seem as important. That’s no knock on the cast—everyone’s tried and true, and one member of the troupe, Andrew Ableson, is prodigiously funny as an articulate fop. Kushner’s 1990 script is, unsurprisingly, composed of beautiful turns of phrase (the story is adapted from Pierre Cornielle’s L’Illusion Comique). Still, this magical tale of a stoical father looking for his prodigal son with the help of a sorcerer (Kandis Chappell) takes its own sweet time as it travels through time to reach Kushner’s clever exclamation point.
The Illusion runs through March 19 at the North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach. $49-$53; northcoastrep.org
Honky Tonk Laundry: The premiere musical centers on two female laundromat employees who still manage to get their hands dirty. Featuring the music of the Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride, Patsy Cline and other country music notables, it opens March 3 at the Broadway Theatre in Vista. broadwayvista.biz
Next Fall: After a terrible traffic accident, a gay man begins to question his atheism when he has to turn to his partner’s Christian family. Written by Geoffrey Nauffts, it opens March 3 at the OnStage Playhouse in Chula Vista. onstageplayhouse.info
Waiting for Godot: Samuel Beckett’s classic play about two buddies waiting for a mysterious man that they hope will help them change their life for the better. Directed by Gabor Tompa, it opens March 7 at the Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre at UCSD in La Jolla. theatre.ucsd.edu