Sample full-bodied humor in ‘Sideways’ now at La Jolla Playhouse
By Diana Saenger
As revealed in La Jolla Playhouse’s “Sideways,” a bachelor party before a wedding can take different forms — especially when it becomes a wine-tasting road trip for two guys in mid-life.
Playhouse Director Emeritus Des McAnuff shares his talents with a great cast to deliver laugh after laugh along with raves at the end of the production.
Playwright Rex Pickett said he wants audiences to be entertained by his play, and understand that, like these characters, all of us are flawed, but lovably human.
Jack (Sean Allan Krill), an actor and TV director, is soon to be married and wants his bachelor party to take place in the wine country of Santa Ynez Valley. Who better to spend that time with than his best man and wine aficionado Miles ((Patrick Breen)?
After a quick stop at Miles’s mother’s house to wish her a happy birthday – and for Miles to lift some money out of her drawer — the guys are off. There isn’t a wine-tasting room in the valley the guys miss. At each one, Miles teaches Jack how to spot the best Pinot and how to sniff it, swish it and finally taste it.
Jack doesn’t need the wine to free up his wildly mad search for fun and women, but Miles isn’t quite on the same page as his friend. In fact, Miles keeps questioning Jack about his flirtations, reminding him that he’s about to be married in a week. Jack tries to help his friend relax and forget his recent divorce, and the fact that Miles’ novel might or might not get published and that he hasn’t had sex in years.
Eventually, the guys end up at the Windmill Inn, where “Sideways” author and playwright Pickett actually stayed during struggles in his own life. There, Miles is reacquainted with Maya (Nadia Bowers), a woman he met years ago and highly admires. Jack immediately zeros in on server, Terra (Zoë Chao).
As fast as Jack can say, “pour me another one,” he and Terra are sexual partners who can’t get enough of each other. Jack tells Terra he loves her and wants to make a life with her. This, of course, freaks Miles out. Although he would like to pursue Maya, Miles has too many problems plaguing him.
Add in a wild boar hunter (who actually shoots at Jack and Miles), a bride-to-be frantically trying to reach Jack, Miles calling his ex-wife to find out she’s already remarried, and it’s a cork-popping explosion of misdeeds and laughs with these guys in mid-life crises. How Jack and Miles became friends is a good question, as they are totally opposites.
Krill is the perfect actor to portray Jack. It’s hard to take your eyes off someone who looks a lot like Robert Redford and creates effervescence with every action. He really pays homage to Thomas Haden Church’s role of Jack in the 2004 movie that garnered Church an Academy Award-nomination.
Breen’s take on Miles’ dual sides – worrywart versus wine intellectual wordsmith – is spot on.
Bower’s Maya is mild-mannered, like Miles, and more of a thinker than a doer. Chao’s Terra is impulsive, like Jack, and when she learns about Jack’s upcoming wedding, she generates a scene blowout that brings cheers from the audience.
If you go
When: Matinees, evenings to Aug. 25
Where: Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse
2910 La Jolla Village Drive, UCSD campus
Tickets: From $15
Box Office: (858) 550-1010
Note: “Sideways” is for adults and contains profanity and sexual dialogue
- McAnuff to direct ‘Sideways’ for La Jolla Playhouse
- Let’s Review: Old Globe’s Merchant of Venice engages with reflection
- Zany situations make for a ‘Perfect Wedding’ at North Coast Rep
- ‘Chagall’ brings dance, music, art, theater to La Jolla Playhouse
- San Diego Rep to tackle border-related tensions in ‘Tortilla Curtain’
Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=110571