Last night was the opening of 4000 Miles a pulitzer nominated play at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. The play was so well executed and performed you didn’t neet an intermission. It ran a full Hour and Forty Five, but the time flew thanks the the simply amazing performances of Mimi Cozen as the grandmother Vera and Christian Prentice as the grandson Leo.
I’ll try not to give too much of the story line away or drop a spoiler. This is a drama with a lot of comedy included. Leo is a young man on a literal and metaphoric journey. Leo left Seattle on a bicycle with a friend who died tragically in an accident along the way. Leo arrived at his Grandmothers flat in New York at 3AM. The grandmother wasn’t expecting him and the first tiff started. During the course of this play Leo makes a new and stronger relationship with Vera. She wisely guides him through his problems and difficulties. Eventually they face a common sadness and he completes his bond with his grandmother.
Of course the supporting characters deserve mention here too. Bec, Leo’s girlfriend played by Alexandra Wright does a wonderful job of shedding light into Leo’s problems as well as allows us to learn more of Vera as she attempts to help her see her love for Leo and save that relationship. Bec in a way winds up being the hero that gives Leo the final push he needs to mend fences and move forward.
The remaining supporting cast member to make an appearance was Amanda, the attempt at a one night stand played by Susanne Lee. She’s more than a little tipsy and just on the edge of fobby and teases Leo until he makes a near fatal mistake of calling her another girls name. Though that faux pas didn’t kill the moment it was a momento from Vera’s past that ends their amorous moment but good. Without Amandas appearance Leo wouldn’t be able to face another error from his past.
Throughout the entire performance I was simply enthralled with the story they told. They had me on an emotional roller coaster and I”m not ashamed to admit there were a time or two where I’d tear up only to be followed with side splitting laughter. They ran that coaster well and you absolutely fell in love with their characters. I don’t know when I last was a a play that had me so involved and impressed.
The set is beautifully detailed. One of the plays sponsors, Atomic Threshold a purveyor of refinished Danish Modern furniture supplied the key elements of the set making for a really convincing and cohesive set. Finishing of Vera’s plat was books donated by the Friends of the Sierra Madre Library.
Last night was a sell out, but I understand there are tickets still available through the shows end on November 8, 2014. You can purchase tickets HERE.
Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre MAP HERE