Suspense Thriller At Local Theater

This is a great play, expertly delivered
BY: TOM EMANUEL

Get off the couch and out of the house! Treat yourself to a hilarious dark comedy about the crazy stuff that creeps into the head of married couples everywhere (but usually doesn’t include revenge and venison!).

4578411.jpgYes, the Rosarito Theatre Guild, known for putting on spectacular community theatre productions right here in Rosarito, is doing it again. This time we see some very familiar faces in a new and very funny setting. Amy Chankin, who pulled off a truly exceptional performance as Maria Callas in Master Class, graces us again with her portrayal of Nicky, a feisty upper class wife and career woman in Chicago. Nicky is hosting a dinner party with her two closest friends: Molly brought to us by Susan Lindstrom, and Debra played by Kay Sutton, and along with their three husbands.

The dinner party, an event which has been repeated many times at each of their homes during the past 20 odd years, has just concluded as the curtain rises. The ladies are in Nicky’s kitchen while the men have gone off to look at Jay’s, (Greg Richards), new toy, a walk-in freezer. They get locked inside. The men have speaking parts but they never appear on stage so all we know about them is what their wives relate during the course of their none too gentle conversation.

As they gab, we learn quite a lot about what has happened over the last 20 years among these three couples and some of it is pretty messy. The wives are mostly disgusted and the husbands are pretty much immune to criticism, as they hav gone off on their own adventures. For instance, Nicky’s husband, Jay, has lately become an avid hunter who is exercising his macho while traipsing around the woods trying to kill Bambi. He has also managed to embezzle $7 million from his company. This gives him the wherewithal to pursue his dreams, most of which seriously grate on his wife, Nicky.

Molly’s husband, Danny, (played by Susan’s real husband, Gerry Lindstrom), is fat, happy and complacent and doesn’t want children. Molly has had to take things into her own hands because her clock is ticking like a berzerk time bomb. She has bitterly gone out to seek new partners who can give her what she wants more than anything: a child. This revelation shocks Debra who is the classic church lady and prone to smugness, critical judgment of others, and self-delusional denial. One of her foibles is that in her view she has the perfect child who is always a little saint and always does what mommy says. In reality of course the kid is a consummate brat, who is a serious pain in the patootie to Debra’s friends.

Debra’s husband Marty, revealed to us by Jim McNulty, is not delighted by Debra’s judgmental tendencies as they often are directed at him. Unfortunately for him he has let her in on his feelings about that. It does not bode well for his future prospects tonight.

This play is cleverly designed by its author, the New York playwright Michelle Lowe, to show us how the ladies come to recognize the truth about themselves, their life situations, and their husbands. In the aftermath of these revelations they are called upon to make some serious decisions, and these decisions are the whole point of the play and the reason why you should go see it. Are they going to accidentally leave their husbands to freeze to death in Jay’s expensive toy, like the slabs of Bambi he’s hung in there? Or are they going to let them out but then head for the divorce courts? Or are they going to learn from their past mistakes and become better wives, thus inspiring their husbands to be better as well?

Sorry, we can’t tell you. You’ll have to learn for yourself when you fire off the couch and take in this intriguing dark comedy. In the meantime, before you learn the suspense filled ending, you will be treated to some hilarious zingers, some wild speculations, and some awesome insights.

The actors are becoming very professional at the Rosarito Theatre Guild. This is Amy Chankin’s 14th performance and Susan Lindstrom has trod these boardd five times. Kay Sutton has only performed twice before but she has been closely associated with the theatre for many years as their lighting director. Of the husbands, Greg Richards is the most experienced, but Jim McNulty and Gerry Lindstrom are no strangers to audiences

. The play is directed by the always creative Sylvia Dombrosky and produced by George Murphy who has been a featured actor many times himself. Connie Strawn is the stage manager and is a true stalwart at the Guild, having done a superb job in this role many times before.  Milo Goehring does a great job at the critical tasks of lighting and sound technician.

The last play, Master Class, featured a dinner partner in the guise of Suzanna’s California Restaurant where you can receive a 20% discount off your entire bill if you dine there on any day the play is running. That is the case again. Just call 661-613-1187 for reservations and say you are going to The Smell of the Kill.

The play opens on September 18 at 7 P.M. and is presented at that time on September 25th. There are matinees at 2 P.M. on September 19, 20, 26, and 27. This is plenty of dates to enjoy the highlight of your late summer entertainment.