An African-American attorney with a career on the rise is shocked to discover she has an Iraqi half-sister in Wendy Graf’s newest play, a hard-hitting drama about family conflict and clashing cultures. Directed by Shirley Jo Finney, the world premiere of “Closely Related Keys” opens February 28, 2014 at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood.
Starring L.A Weekly and NAACP Award-winner Diarra Kilpatrick (“In the Red and Brown Water” at the Fountain, “The Royale” at Kirk Douglas), Simone Missick (“the road weeps the well runs dry” at LATC, “In the Red and Brown Water”), Brent Jennings (“Slaughter City” at Son of Semele, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” at Berkeley Rep), Ted Mattison (“Chicago Conspiracy Trial” at the Odyssey) and Adam Meir (UK tour of “The Pillowman”), “Closely Related Keys” examines the walls we erect in our current climate of racial, religious, moral and political polarization.
Julia Dolan (Kilpatrick) is an up-and-coming corporate attorney whose carefully constructed life begins to crumble when she learns she has a half-sister (Missick) – a Muslim who has fled Iraq. Neyla plays the violin and wants to audition for Julliard – but is there more to her story?
“It's about love and loyalty, secrets and lies, and how the past, never being dead, just hovers around waiting to smack us upside the head,” says Graf. “It’s about picking up the broken pieces to imperfectly assemble a new family and future.”
The play’s title is taken from a musical expression meaning “to share many common tones.”
“What I love about this piece is that it puts a fresh spin on racial relations that’s very different from what we usually see in plays about the African American experience,” says Finney. “Each of the five characters has a unique voice with a very distinctive point of view. These people, like all of us, are trying to navigate a world that has become interconnected and multicultural on every level.”
“Closely Related Keys” opens 8 p.m. Friday, February 28 and performs 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday through March 30 (dark March 2 and March 20). There will be one preview performance on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and $30 on Saturday ; the preview is $15. Call 323-960-7774 or visit www.plays411.com/relatedkeys.
The Lounge Theatre is located at 6201 Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood.