Theater Review: Dinner with Friends

CAST: Chris Devlin, Jay Huguley, Samantha Sloyan*, Tania Gonzalez.
*appearing courtesy of AEA. Photo by Travis Lane.

The delicious and satisfying “Dinner With Friends” gets a powerful reboot at the Beverly Hills Playhouse under the direction of Michael Yavnieli. The  Pulitzer prize-winning play, written by Donald Margulies (Time Stands Still), still resonates strongly 20 years after its debut.

The compelling story centers around two Connecticut couples that have been close friends for many years, and the fallout when one of the couples suddenly decides to divorce after 12 years of marriage.

Karen and Gabe are successful and generous professional foodies, while Tom is a hotshot lawyer and his soon-to-be ex-wife Beth is a flamboyant, free-spirited artist. Both Tom and Beth move on to happier lives, but their break up shakes the foundation of Karen and Gabe’s relationship, leading to much angst and soul-searching.

Playwright Donald Margulies expertly explores what makes couples tick and what sabotages relationships. Poignant, realistic and funny, the story strikes many chords that we can all relate to.

“Dinner With Friends” is seamlessly produced by Faye Viviana, Crimson Square Theatre Company, Beverly Hills Playhouse and Cheshire Moon Inc. This incarnation features a talented cast, which stars Samantha Sloyan as Karen, Jay Huguley as Gabe, Chris Devlin as Tom, and Tania Gonzalez as Beth. The appealing set design and construction features the work of Bryan McKinley, Tyler Anderson and Miles Cooper, with cool lighting designed by Dereck McDaniel with sound design by Jeffrey Sun.

Now in residence at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, Crimson Square Theatre Company will be providing performance opportunities for their top students, who will share
the stage with professionals in the ongoing theatre season. The program will sponsor a minimum of five productions annually, as well as an ongoing writer’s lab to help students develop their narrative voices.

“Dinner With Friends” runs until June 30th. It plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm and 7pm. Tickets are $25 available online or at the door. This show is well worth checking out, so get your tickets soon for this limited run.

Harrison Held

About Harrison Held

Harrison Held is a proud Fringe Alumnus performing as Dracula's Assistant Renfield in Down for the Count in producer Dallas Bancroft's Hollywood Shorts which also featured Ed Asner and was directed by John O'Donnell. (Profile photo by John O'Donnell)
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