','subtitle>',$line); echo $line; $line = "\n"; } else if (strstr($line, '','updated>',$line); } else if (strstr($line, '','published>',$line); } else if (strstr($line, ' Impractical Proposals <br> Santa Monica: Theater: Last Night for "The Tansparency of Val"


Theater: Last Night for "The Tansparency of Val"

"Life starts. People tell you things. Girls become boys. Facts become thoughts. Is my mother attractive? Is licorice really food? In Stephen Belber's new comedy, Transparency of Val, 'Val' is born. Within minutes, he learns part of the entire history of the world. By then, having finished college, he is faced with the task of actually living. It's not quite the coconut he was taught, what with all the twisted Buddhists, sexually-amorphous mates, and frighteningly friendly Nazis. But Val's a survivor, and like most good people, he'll endure. Unless he goes insane.

"Transparency of Val, no less sweeping in scope than Plato's 'Allegory of the Cave,' tackles the life cycle, sexual politics, race relations, foreign affairs, and modern religion. And it's a comedy! Playwright Stephen Belber, no longer content with the realism that drove his previous dramas like Tape and Finally, chooses a dramatic style which allows him to tackle so many broad issues. Like every good absurdist, he begs a number of fundamental questions without presuming any answers." -- from the program.

The LA Weekly: "Playwright Stephen Belber puts a ‘90s spin on the Candide story....So long as Belber keeps his eye on the satiric ball, his play is lively and funny, but it keeps veering into allegory, fantasy, absurdism and New Age truisms....Director Kelly Ann Ford gives the piece a slick and clever production, well served by a solid cast (including Bob Wilson in several roles), but the play’s warring elements never quite gel."

Backstage West: "...Please keep your hands and arms inside the car at all times.
Dutifully warned, one sits back for a spin on playwright Stephen Belber's philosophically comic roller coaster. Val, a quickly developing newborn played with infectiously wide-eyed wonder by Guy Busick, learns all he needs to know about life within the first 10 minutes of Belber's tautly constructed first act....best are the scenes in which Ford lets the dramatic side run its course naturally. The cast's
handling, Busick's in particular, of Val's parents' separation and his father's eventual death are touching oases in Belber's otherwise fast-moving tale."

West Coast Ensemble, wcensemble.org
522 N. La Brea Ave., Hlywd.;
Tues.-Thurs., 8 p.m.; thru Nov. 11. (323) 525-0022.


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