Review by STEVEN STANLEYJune 16, 2012 certified reviewer
My overall impression
A pair of college roommates attempt to navigate their way through the college years in Matt Soson’s The Lights Are Off, a dark, edgy screwball comedy with a starkly dramatic twist. Despite an occasional strain on credibility, Soson’s maiden play never bores. With its cast of talented, good-looking UCLA grads, The Lights Are Off showcases its writer’s gift for penning clever, funny dialog and placing his cast of likable and not quite so likable characters in unexpected, unpredictable situations. Mikey Hawley’s hot-as-blazes Burnt, Elijah Trichon’s quirky Randy, and Rachel Lien’s vivacious Gwen are all terrifically realized performances as are supporting turns by Taylor Solomon as the loopy Riley and Megan Gail, Cord Jackman, and Ian Evarts as Burnt and Randy’s ready-to-trip upstairs neighbors. Soson’s sharp direction insures that audience attention never lags. An ingenious set design and multiple props by Marika Stephens give the production a surprisingly finished look for a Fringe Festival entry, complemented by Sohail Najafi’s mood-appropriate lighting. Sound designer Jesse Rosenman and fight choreographer Eric Anderson do topnotch work as well. Tracy Tung is stage manager. The Lights Are Off is produced by Soson and Priscilla Watson and assistant directed by David Hemphill.