Review by EILEEN WEINERJune 03, 2017 certified reviewer
What I liked
First of all, this play itself is a modern masterpiece. It’s no wonder it appeared on Broadway. How fortunate we are to have this wonderful production of it at the Hollywood Fringe, one so moving that I still had tears in my eyes when my Uber came to take me home. The dialogue seems ripped right out of real life, veering from funny to tragic, from love to betrayal, from empty homilies to hard won truths without missing a beat. The passion between Jackie (Jorge-Luis Pallo) and Veronica (Fayna Sanche) rings so true that we root for their love to win out in the end, despite his difficulty in staying out of jail and their individual struggles with fidelity and substance abuse. Jackie’s sponsor Ralph (Nelson Delrosario) tests the bonds of friendship and matrimony and his wife Victoria (Libby Ewing) gradually steps out of the shadows to let her voice be heard. Cousin Julio (Felipe Figueroa) as a comic character is a wonderful foil to all the hot blooded tension. The acting was as good as it gets. Every scene was believable, and we were transported into their world and transfixed by it. This is why there is nothing that can compare to live theater. My hat’s off to this group, one and all. Thank you for a night I will never forget.
What I didn't like
There was nothing I didn’t like about this play. The acting was magnificent, especially that of Jorge-Luis Pallo as Jackie, the main character. He showed passion, anger, vulnerability, hurt, hope, longing and regret, and every emotion rang true. Kudos to Fayna Sanchez as Veronica for being the sexy, hot blooded Latina, tough on the outside, but with a heart of gold. Delrosario and Ewing were a study in contrast as a couple with less passion, but just as many problems, and Felipe Figueroa as Cousin Julio was a delight. You never knew what was going to come out of his mouth next.
My overall impression
This play is a modern masterpiece, and this production of it is a sheer delight. The acting is magnificent and the play touches on so many facets of modern life: friendship, loyalty, family, human frailty, and above all, love. How do we love one another despite our weaknesses? What’s the nature of forgiveness? What’s the truth and what’s bullshit, and how do you tell the difference, in other people and in yourself?
You owe it to yourself to see this performance. Don’t miss it! It will make you laugh; it will break your heart a little — it’s the best of what theater can be. I can’t thank these folks enough for giving me a night of theater I will never forget. My hat’s off to you, one and all.