I took my boyfriend to check out “The Wake,” the new play by Lisa Kron, directed by Leigh Silverman. We took our seats and observe the beautiful modern set of an older looking apartment building right out of NYC with the fire escape stairway to the left. There was a thick border framing the entire stage where media images and newsreels are shown. I knew something great was in store by David Korins’ scenic design alone.

The play takes place in New York City, in Ellen (played by Heidi Schreck) and Danny’s (played by Carson Elrod) apartment. They live two floors above Kayla, Danny’s sister (played by Andrea Frankle), and her wife Laurie (Danielle Skraastad). Ellen’s friend Judy (played brilliantly by Deirdre O’Connell), a social recluse, is in town for her mother’s funeral and crashes their Thanksgiving festivities.

Everyone is getting ready for dinner, but Ellen is constantly distracted by the media coverage of the recount vote taking place in Florida. Ellen, a journalist, is enthralled with politics and passionate about her political views and convictions. She appears to be in a happy and comfortable place in her life, living with a warm and loving boyfriend and having great friends and family as neighbors.

That wonderfully comfortable world takes a turn when she meets a woman named Amy, played by Emily Donahoe, with whom she falls madly in love. As the story evolves, Ellen has to make a choice between the man with whom she shares a life or continue exploring this new relationship with this woman.

The ensemble cast is perfection! The actors are so much fun, so real, so relatable you feel like you are taking part in their world and the audience is an extension of their living room. The most disturbing part of the whole show is relieving the horrific events of the dreadful Bush years and 9/11. This is definitely a play that will provoke strong conversation and debate. It explores complicated arenas and asks some tough questions. What more could you ask for from a great play?



Kirk Douglas Theatre is located at 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. For more information, visit centertheatregroup.org.