In 1891, Wendla (Eleanor Van Hest), Melchior (Luke Baily) and Moritz (Nick McDow) discover their burgeoning lascivious urges. When the teens act on their desires, they spiral out of control into their personal and tragic fates resulting in rape, abortion and suicide.
Unfortunately, something is lost in director Evan Drane’s translation. There are disjointed scenes and strange dramatic choices: pivotal characters die off stage, two boys explore homosexuality in the second act quite randomly and a metaphysical deus ex machina shows up out of nowhere.
Luckily, powerful performances by Bailey, McDow, Morgan Early (Frau Bergmann) and Issac Wade (especially as Professor Sonnenstich) make for a pleasurable experience.
The Powerhouse Theatre is located at 3116 2nd Street, Santa Monica. For more information, visit www.latensemble.com.