Let’s Review: Reality hits hard in Globe’s ‘Bethany’

Jennifer Ferrin (Crystal) and Carlo Albán (Gary) knock heads. Jim Cox

If you go
■ What: “Bethany”
■ When: Matinees, evenings to Feb. 23
■ Where: Old Globe’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park
■ Tickets: From $29
■ Box Office: (619) 23-GLOBE
■ Website: www.TheOldGlobe.org

By Diana Saenger

Although the West Coast premiere of “Bethany” at The Old Globe may entice audiences with its sweet, female title (Bethany refers to a young girl who never appears in Laura Marks’ dark thriller), it may leave some patrons aghast.

In the drama directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, Crystal (Jennifer Ferrin) suddenly finds herself among the many Americans who learn their hard work is of no worth when they lose their jobs or homes during the recent recession. In one neighborhood, foreclosure after foreclosure has left many of the houses empty.

Crystal uses a credit card to jimmy the lock open on a door belonging to one of those houses and lets herself in. The furnishings are sparse, but she checks the refrigerator and a cabinet, and finds some food items.

Suddenly, a man comes running down the stairs with a board in his hand and begins screaming at Crystal and trying to hit her with the board. She eventually calms the man, who she learns is Gary (Carlo Alban). He confesses he’s homeless and not leaving this residence, so she talks him into letting her stay, as well.

Crystal soon discovers that Gary is mentally unstable. He constantly rants about the government controlling the people and taking away their freedoms. Crystal realizes she’ll never get Gary to leave, so she walks on tiptoes to keep things manageable.

We learn that Crystal has lost custody of her 5-year-old daughter and needs a home to get her child back.

To fool the social worker Toni (Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson) and pull this off, Crystal needs money that she hopes will come through soon. Crystal is a car salesperson and has a rich man on the hook.

Charlie (James Shanklin) likes the car he sees, but has bigger eyes for Crystal. One evening, he schemes his way to her house and gives her an ultimatum: He’ll buy the car if she sleeps with him. Crystal is in for a few surprises concerning her job and the car sale …

Will Crystal make the sale? Will she get her daughter back? And can she handle it when Gary goes so far off his rocker that her life is in danger?

Not to be a spoiler, but there were some big open mouths at the end of the last act. I wasn’t the only one to be utterly taken aback, wondering why there were missing elements in the play that could have smoothed out the results. This is a drama for mature audiences only.

Related posts:

  1. Talented cast shines in Cygnet’s ‘Travesties’
  2. Desperation, hope collide in Old Globe’s ‘Rainmaker’ revival
  3. Emmy-nominated actress takes the lead in Old Globe’s Bethany
  4. McAnuff to direct ‘Sideways’ for La Jolla Playhouse
  5. La Jolla favorite: Outdoor Summer Shakespeare Festival returns to The Old Globe Theatre

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=120737

Posted by Pat Sherman on Feb 12, 2014. Filed under A & E, Theater. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team tops in division at 2014 Albion Cup July 25, 2014
    The Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team took first place in the 2014 Albion Cup (Girls U9 Cup) on July 18-21. They beat Carlsbad United’s top GU9 team in the semi-finals and went on to shut out Strikers FC in the finals, 4-0. Awesome tournament play by the entire team! […]
  • Surf Academy Select BU9 win it all at Albion Cup July 25, 2014
    San Diego Surf Academy Select BU9 won it all at the Albion Cup July 19-21! After winning their Showcase division by going unbeaten all weekend, they defeated Legends FC 4-1 in the finals on Monday. This is the second year in a row this team has won the Albion Cup. […]
  • Pushing boundaries July 24, 2014
    Few issues cause parents more distress than changes in school boundaries. Who can forget the tumult when in 2002 the Del Mar Union School District moved hundreds of families from one attendance area to another? Resentment still lingers, 12 years later. The San Dieguito Union High School District created its system of boundaries nearly 18 years ago that has w […]