Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hurlyburly: Sex, Drugs, and Hollywood

Brandon Scott Hughes and Kirk Gostkowski as Phil and Eddie.
Photo by Abi Classey.
Hurlyburly, by David Rabe. Directed by Rich Ferraioli. Featuring Kirk Gostkowski, Deven Anderson, Brandon Scott Hughes, Chris Harcum, Christina Elise Perry, Jacklyn Collier, and Rachel Cora. Produced by Variations Theatre Group, currently running at The Chain Theatre through March 1st, 2014.

"Is everybody ripped here?" It's the middle of what seems to be an ongoing series of days and nights getting trashed on booze, dope, and pills, and the answer is most assuredly yes. Hurlyburly is David Rabe's scathing look at the overindulgence of the climbers and would-be kingmakers of Los Angeles in the 1980s, and it ain't pretty.

The play opens with the protagonist, "good old Eddie," passed out on his sofa, the evidence of cocaine snorting in front of him, and an open bar not far behind him. He's an overly gregarious casting director, and at first glance it seems he's perhaps too indulgent of the various acolytes that endlessly populate his apartment. His roommate and fellow casting director, Micky, aloof and dry as a martini, regards the whole charade with more disdain; but on the other hand, he's not fooling himself the way Eddie clearly is.