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A CurtainUp Los Angeles Review
By Laura Hitchcock

In Kelly Stuart's hilariously sly play, Homewrecker, having its world premiere at The Evidence Room, girlfriends Beth (Lauren Campedelli) and Cindy (Shannon Holt) rendez-vous in an airport lounge, en route to meeting the married men they expect to detach from their wives and attach to themselves. Beth, a svelte sophisticate in a dark pantsuit with a curtain of black hair swinging to her waist is smitten by a poetic English magician who knows how a girl wants to define soulmate: "The first time I saw you it was like looking at myself." Cindy, a big-hair blondewho gives new meaning to the term "ditzy", is besotted by a Texan who's going to build her a house.

We don't meet Cindy's boyfriend but we see a lot of James (Stephen Caffrey), a dishy longish-haired chap whose shirt is exquisitely unbuttoned to the waist. Beth is sorry he can't have total sex with her but then he's so sensitive, infuriatingly so. He's considerate not only of his present wife but of such old girlfriends as Lucinda. "She's been a good friend to me," he sighs and, then with repulsively hang-dog honesty, "but I haven't been such a good friend to her." When he graciously admits "I'm fucked," Beth mutters "I wish I were!" Beth can't seem to take a leaf from Cindy's book according to which "Adultery should be fun, or else why do it. "

There's a fourth and surprising cast member. He's none other than George W. Bush (Don Oscar Smith). He nods in from time with remarks like " Unless we get the full facts, I think it's going to be hard to decide to make a decision." W. doesn't interact with the other characters but sobs and wretched voices can be heard in the background of his innocuous monologues. The playwriting structure serves to contrast the ineffectiveness of the administration to listen to or affect people where they live. This could be true of many administrations but the one chosen makes its points with devastating perspicacity.

Beth and Cindy may get the full facts but they don't want them. How many times have they heard, "I'm gonna leave her but give me time?" It takes a really in-your-face fact to make the truth sink in. That image is so repulsive I hesitate to go into specifics. Let's just say it goes beyond finding your soulmate in bed with your best friend but has to do with taking the full fact and living out your suppressed dream of what you'd do with it.

Director Bart DeLorenzo upholds The Evidence Room's high standards with an expert blend of outrageousness and reality. Don Oscar Smith nails Dubya's accent, innocuousness and suppressed rage. Stephen Caffrey is dishy and infuriating as the magician James. Campedelli and Holt complement each other beautifully. Holt's Cindy is the baby-doll blonde who knows what it takes to trap a Texan. Campedelli's Beth is a serious beauty who wants so much to align with her soulmate that she's devastated when the only woman he can respond to is an airhead.

Alain Jourdenais's simple effective lighting/set design easily takes us all over the place. Ann Closs-Farley's costume designs accentuate the characters wordlessly.

Playwright: Kelly Stuart
Director: Bart DeLorenzo
Cast: Lauren Campedelli (Beth), Shannon Holt (Cindy), Stephen Caffrey (James), Don Oscar Smith (George W. Bush)
Set & Lighting Design: Alain Jourdenais
Costume Design: Ann Closs-Farley
Sound Design: John Zalewski
Running Time: 110 Minutes, no intermission
Running Dates: August 14-September 4, 2004
Where: The Evidence Room, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, Ph: (213) 381-7118
Reviewed by Laura Hitchcock on August 14.
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