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Seven Decembers

ensemble theatre · nothing important productions · Ages 16+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by KAT MICHELS

June 13, 2016 · original article

What I liked

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What I didn't like

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My overall impression

I was intrigued by the concept of this play – a brother goes missing and for this, the seventh year in a row, the family gathers together to await a phone call from him. He never speaks and they don’t know for sure that it is actually him, but the call always comes the weekend of his birthday, so they all gather in order to cling to the last remnant of hope that he is still alive.

This family is dysfunctional to say the least with all of the stereotypical types covered – alcoholic mother, separated father with way younger girlfriend, uptight sister, wild sister and gay brother. The problem was that just as the story started to develop and we began to see deeper than the surface stereotypes, the play was over. Everything was left up in the air, as the lights went down on what should have been act 1, but instead it was the curtain call.

I walked away with no strong opinion on it one way or the other, because I don’t feel that they told a complete story. The parent’s performances were a bit over the top, but the four adult-children Bridgit King as Johnny May, Caitlin Rigney as Lila, Todd G. Levin as Kurt and Dustin Myklebust as Kyle all turn in nuanced performances. For that reason I would qualify “Seven Decembers” as a #ChanceItLA instead of a skip it. Just be aware going in that the story ends right as it starts to get good.

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