“The world is too ugly. Beauty cannot exist.” So saith Rachel, the fourth grader who is mercilessly bullied because of her weight, in Sean Graney,s dark comedy, “The 4th Graders Present an Unnamed Love-Suicide.”
The 65-minute production is brimming with moments that reflect the unique pathos of being nine. Two guest actors, together with five members of the Coeurage Theater Company, offer poignant, yet laugh-out loud performances that will linger on long after the stage lights go down. Kimberlee Soo gives an especially engaging turn as the militant yet painfully isolated hall monitor, Lucy Law.
The company makes its home at The Actors Circle Theater in West Hollywood. The 47-seat setting makes for an intimate experience; and, the seats are comfy to boot! The group’s name comes from its members’ particular understanding of the word “courage.” They’ve fused the French word, coeur with “rage,” meaning “fervor or on fire” to come up with “Coeurage,” or “heart on fire with fervor or passion.” According to their website and the program, this is the spirit they pledge to bring to every performance. In the show I saw, they hit their mark.
Now, here’s the part you gotta get: The Coeurage Theatre Company is Los Angeles’ ONLY PAY-WHAT-YOU-WANT THEARE! Turns out the company’s mission is to make that impassioned theatre they’re talking about “accessible to all audiences through pay-what-you want admission and fresh, challenging productions.” How do you like them apples!? I want to make it clear, it’s not pay as you want a certain night of the week or month – although we love that too – but EVERY SHOW IS PAY WHAT YOU WANT!
I arrived in plenty of time and had a refreshment before-hand. That was also pay-what-you-want! A friend of mine told me about this a couple weeks ago, but of course I had to wait until I could make it to a production to pass it on to you. Gotta make sure the show was decent, ya know?
I’m happy to report it was a hands-down success on all points. Great young theater group, talented artists, friendly folks, comfy seats, homemade treats and pay-as-you-want for everything. Doesn’t get much better than that, folks. Come on down!
NEED TO KNOW:
Coeurage Theatre Company
At The Actors Circle Theatre
7313 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046 (map)
Note: No phone number listed, gotta go to their website.
(Jennifer Caldwell is a an actress and an active member of SAG-AFTRA, serving on several committees. She is a published author of short stories and news articles and is a featured contributor to CityWatch. Her column at www.RecessionCafe.wordpress.com is dishing up good deals, recipes and food for thought. Jennifer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennifercald - Twitter: @CheckingTheGate)
Vol 10 Issue 81
Pub: Oct 8, 2012