I have been a theater lover for many years and a critic for the past three, but nothing had prepared me for the awesomeness that is Happy Face Sad Face, currently being staged at the Lillian Theatre just off Theatre Row in Hollywood.
Imagine seeing the same play twice from two totally different points of view and you have the premise for this most creative piece by R.J. Colleary, directed by Kathleen Rubin and produced by Russell Boast.
The amazing cast of Tom Christensen, Krizia Bajos, Thomas F. Evans, Perry Smith, Rob Locke, Eddie Alfano and Sarah Danielle Agor are perfectly cast in both of their alter egos, and ably make the transition from melodrama to comedy.
Combined with a truly functional set designed by Keiko Moreno and lighting design by Matt Richter, the actors truly look at home on stage. And when the lighting changes, we find two bedrooms and a kitchen set that give the audience an in-depth look at the characters.
But the true star of this play is the playwright. Colleary has constructed and Rubin has brought to life an intriguing and entertaining story - a whodunit without the murder - as a man works out the perfect plan to find out who was trying to kill him.
Within minutes of Rob Locke walking on stage, I was totally invested in his character and his story. He truly carried this story, in both its dramatic and comedic permutations. Add in the great supporting cast of characters, and the audience was guaranteed a great time.
I won't give away the secrets and surprises awaiting in the comedic version, but will leave you with one recommendation. Pay close attention to the story in the first act, cause the second act takes some liberties with the story. If you weren't paying attention, you may find yourself lost. Irregardless, you are in for a treat with Happy Face Sad Face. It is one of the finest pieces of theater I have ever seen in Los Angeles. Get your tickets now!