Robbie, a young gay dancer, and his lover Dom die in a freak boating incident. His two roommates are left with grief, longing and anger: sadness for the light-spirited friend they will no longer cook meals or pal around with, longing for the hard-working talent they will no longer collaborate with and anger that his family had no idea he was gay.

“Burn This” is a powerful drama that pulls you into the living room and lives of two distraught personalities. Anna is a beautiful female ex-dancer-turned-choreographer and her other roommate is a flamboyantly male gay ex-dancer. The two are reeling from the loss of Robbie, alternately smoking, drinking, crying and recounting memories.

The atmosphere livens up when Pale, Robbie’s older brother, shows up to pick up his brother’s personal items. This is when things start to get interesting. Pale is rough around the edges, uneducated, smoking and drinking at 5 a.m., carrying a gun in his pocket, and when asked what he does for a living, he replies that he “puts out fires.”

Alone with Anna in the living room, contrary to common sense, passion comes into play. A fiery fling occurs, and when he leaves, Pale leaves the house in more turmoil than when he arrives. And thus the stage is set for act two.

“Burn This” is an incredibly engaging story, peppered with bits of humor throughout. The most outlandish of them all is Pale, played by Adam Rothenberg. While you love to hate him, you hate that you love him. His brutish quality charms the audience as much as it does Anna.



Mark Taper Forum is located at 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. For more information, visit centertheatregroup.org.