Gentrification and its painful and complicated effects on communities is something that many Angelenos understand all too well. It is for this reason that Danny Hoch’s one-man show, “Taking Over,” is so welcome.

By taking on the personas of some dozen characters in an hour and 40 minutes, Hoch gives honest and diverse viewpoints on the changes occurring in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. From working class punks and property owners to an ex-con and an elderly black lady, the characters tell of the changes they are seeing. For some it is unbearably painful, for others the changes mean progress.

The most powerful moments in the play, however, are when Hoch speaks in his own voice, relaying his own stories of nostalgia for lost community. He tells of a neighborhood plagued by poverty and crack cocaine, recovering only in time to see its long-time residents priced out by moneyed outsiders.

What could easily be a mundane exercise in political correctness becomes, in Hoch’s hands, an authentic expression of anger and loss, doing justice to a difficult subject matter.

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