Theater Review: “Underneath” Brilliant Irish Actor Pat Kinevane Takes Us Inside the Mind of a Tortured Soul

img_8479Sitting in the audience, looking at the pitch black stage where a coffin covered by gold material resides, I sensed something special was about to happen. And it didn’t take long before it did.

Slowly, a figure emerges from underneath the stage. His face is painted black, his clothes are tattered, and a strange shade of carbon grey, and he looks as if his skin is rotting. The ‘he’ is actually a ‘she’ and has been dead a very long time. You see, we are in a graveyard located in County Cork, Ireland and this corpse has a story to tell.

“Underneath” is about a girl whose face has been deformed by a lightning strike. She wants us to know how this accident affected her life. She tells us how society punished her because of how she looked, and how she punished herself. She delves into the relationship between beauty and ugliness, life and death, cruelty and kindness, and how much people value the way a person looks. This is a girl who experienced ridicule and rejection her whole life because of her damaged face. But this isn’t a depressing story, thanks to the brilliance of…

Pat Kinevane. He uses his body, his voice, his comic timing, to take us on a trip that will make us laugh and cringe, mesmerize us and ultimately bring tears to our eyes. I know that was my experience.

Kinevane is a monologuist with an amazing imagination. He interacts with the audience, asks a few audience members questions integrating them into the show. In fact, when a member of the audience was making noise taking notes (probably a critic), without breaking character, and using all of his Irish charm, he basically told her to STOP what she was doing, as it was disturbing the other audience members.

Pat Kinevane, besides performing this amazing original piece, wrote it as well. He is a member of FISHAMBLE, an Irish theatre company dedicated to new plays, many of which have been performed in this country. This year, Pat won a Laurence Olivier Award in London for his outstanding achievement as an actor and a writer.

This is a stunning piece of theatre that will have you thinking and talking about it for days, even weeks. It’s something that has to be experienced, and you don’t have much time to do that since it’s only here for one more weekend.

“Underneath,” brilliantly directed by Jim Culleton, is playing at the Odyssey Theatre located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles. The remaining dates are Friday, October 28th at 8pm, Saturday, October 29th at 8pm, and Sunday, October 30th at 2pm. Tickets are $25.00. To purchase, call 310-477-2055 or go to the website. 

Joan Alperin

About Joan Alperin

Joan was born in Brooklyn and spent many years working as an actress in New York City. Even though she traveled extensively, Joan couldn't imagine living anywhere else.. Well one day, she met someone at a party who regaled her with stories about living in L. A. specifically Topanga Canyon. A few weeks later she found herself on an airplane bound for Los Angeles. Joan immediately fell in love with the town and has been living here for the last twenty years and yes, she even made it to Topanga Canyon, where she now resides, surrounded by nature, deer, owls and all kinds of extraordinary alien creatures.. Joan continued acting, but for the last several years (besides reviewing plays and film) she has been writing screenplays. Joan was married to a filmmaker who created the cult classic films, (way before she knew him) Faces of Death. As a result of his huge following, they created a funny movie review show entitled Two Jews on Film, where Joan and her husband, John would review movies and rate them with bagels You can see their reviews by going to youtube.com/twojewsonfilm. Although it's now only one Jew - Joan is occasionally joined by her beautiful Pekingnese and Japanese Chin.
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