Originally posted in the Century City News

Written by: Patrick Marber
Produced by: Fed by Fire Productions
Cast: Brandon Hayes (Larry); Max Bird-Ridnell (Dan); Sylvia Loehndorf (Alice); Kylie Wright (Anna)
Director: Jeremy Lewit
Shows: 8.00 pm Friday & Saturday, March 12–13 & 19–20, 4 pm Sunday, March 14-21
Flight Theater, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles

There is nothing more intriguing than being invited in to witness at close quarters the intimate details of other people’s flailing relationships; the stumbling, the doubts, the total inability to understand the people closest to us, that is, the people we say we love. It’s writing like this that connects us to the actors who are telling us this story and helps us accept our own flaws and failure to make things turn out as we planned. I don’t believe Closer, the movie, gave us this experience, but Closer, the play that I saw this weekend, achieves what the film didn’t.

There is very little art direction in this production, so unfortunately the ambience had to be created by the four thespians slogging it out on the stage. The actors did do a valiant job and most of the acting is good, but one performance stands out – take a bow, Max Bird-Ridnell, because your performance is quite brilliant. Max plays the part of Dan and he relishes every moment of this character’s confused, feckless being. This roaring young actor’s resemblance to Ethan Hawke cannot go unnoticed and if he wants to head for the silver screen, I’m sure that will help him on his way.

The play ends in a memorial park, with the names of ordinary people who died saving others engraved in stone. I felt this to be a great choice to set the theme – before you try to save others, you must save yourself. And all these four characters definitely need saving. Closer is playing for only one more weekend so if you’re done with your 3D experience and you think a series of special effects belong in video games, try a taste of what Alice describes as “a bunch of sad strangers photographed beautifully”, which is a perfect Swan Song for their show.

Closer Review by Miv Evans
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