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Barbeque



 
Barbeque, by Robert O’Hara, is making its West Coast premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. This play is, undoubtedly, one of the most unusual, and confusing, comedies I have ever seen. Difficult to review, I have to admit, because to do so is telling you everything about it that you don’t want to know until you see it for yourself! I will tell you that you will be laughing your way through it from beginning to end, and it will surprise you as well.

We meet a low-class family of siblings getting together in a park while awaiting the arrival of their drug-addicted sister Barbara (aka Zippity Boom) to celebrate her birthday. Their real purpose is to get her to go to for rehabilitation since they already lost two siblings to alcohol and drugs. Each of them has problems of their own and expresses their feelings with each other.

I feel it only fair to warn you that there is a great deal of unpleasant language in this scene. When Barbara arrives, she is already strung-out and is out-of- control. They have had enough - enough beer, whiskey, and pills (themselves) to face up to her.

The scene ends, and the next scene opens with the exact same set, with the exact same characters, but the performers portraying them are a different group of black actors. Would you not be confused? Would you not wonder what is going on? I felt totally confused until the act ended.

Both scenes, however, are hilarious, and the second act, which is not quite as funny as Act I, explains the entire situation. That is the time when I could appreciate the play as a whole. Though I would have been more comfortable with less bad language, I understand its use for the sake of character reality..oes to the entire cast for their fine performances. They include Yvette Cason, Dale Dickey, Omar J. Dorsey, Frances Fisher, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Travis Johns, Elyse Mirt, Chelsea Boothe, Heather Alicia Simms, and Rebecca Wisocky. The production is directed by Golman Domingo.

Barbeque plays Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 PM and 8 PM, and Sundays at 2 PM and 7 PM, through October 16. The Geffen Playhouse is located at 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles. Tickets are available online at www.geffenplayhouse.org, by phone at (310) 208-5454, or in person at the Geffen Playhouse box office.