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A different kind of mother

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Play: "Lost Girls"

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The mother in playwright John Pollono’s Lost Girls is a foul-mouthed harridan, but then, so is her daughter.

The mother, Linda, played alternately by Ann Bronston and Peggy Dunne, berates her daughter with nearly every sentence. The daughter, Maggie (Jennifer Pollono), shouts obscenities and insults and tells her mother to “shut up!” periodically.

But then, Maggie is distraught by the fact that her daughter Erica (Anna Theoni DiGiovanni) has disappeared in the middle of a crushing New England snowstorm. Plus, Maggie’s car has been stolen.

To the rescue comes Lou (Joshua Bitton), Maggie’s ex-husband, with his second wife, Penny (Kirsten Kollender). Lou is an ex-cop and a recovering alcoholic who gets his police buddies to look for Erica.

Meanwhile, Erica has persuaded a school friend, Scooter (Jonathan Lipnicki) to drive her to Florida so she can rendezvous with her middle-aged boyfriend.

From there the plot unravels in all directions, but it does hold your attention. John Perrin Flynn directs this dysfunctional family group well, except for the accents, which come and go. The setting is supposed to be New Hampshire, but the exaggerated accents are from Boston. (As is someone’s reference to having lived in Somerville, which is a Boston suburb.)

Of note is David Mauer’s dual set, which morphs in seconds from Maggie’s living room to the seedy hotel room that Erica and Scooter have holed up in to wait out the storm. The Murphy bed comes out from behind a wall, other walls reverse, and even the pictures turn to become other pictures, and it’s all done by hand so quickly that it doesn’t disrupt the continuity of the action.

This world premiere is presented by Rogue Machine Theatre at Theatre/Theater, 5041Pico Blvd., in Los Angeles, and as many Los Angeles theatergoers already know, almost any play presented by the celebrated Rogue Machine Theatre is well worth seeing.

Lost Girls will run Saturdays at 5 pm, Sundays at 7 pm and Mondays at 8 pm through December 16th. For reservations, call 855-585-5185.

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