Written by 7:42 pm Costa Mesa, Costa Mesa Playhouse, Review, Theater, Uncategorized

Art @ Costa Mesa Playhouse – Review

(Photo credits: Josh Lewkowicz)

Written by Daniella Litvak

What is currently trending in the Orange County theater world? French comedy! Not too long ago, I had the privilege of seeing Molière’s Tartuffe performed, a classic – in all meanings of the word – an example of French comedy. Now, I had the honor of seeing Art by Yasmina Reza. It is a far more recent play but another excellent example of French comedy. It did not win a Tony and various other awards for nothing. In the hands of the Costa Mesa Playhouse, it is a fantastic theatrical experience.

Story:

Art kicks off with Serge (Michael Serna) buying a painting – a white painting with white strips – for $200,000.00. While Serge is enamored with his new acquisition, his friend Marc (Peter Hilton) thinks it is absurd and ropes their friend Yvan (Angel Correa) into the matter. What follows is – as Jordana Oberman–Whitton aptly describes in the Director’s Note – “…a darkly funny examination of the tumultuous growing pains within a friendship.”

Yvan (Angel Correa),Marc (Peter Hilton)

Art has a great premise.   It displays wit and wisdom. It tackles big philosophical ideas but in a way that is always hilariously entertaining and never pedantic. If you pick up Seinfeld vibes from it, you would not be the only one. It is a 90-minute play performed straight through without an intermission that never lags because you’re so caught up in what is happening on stage.

Acting:

With only three characters featured during the entire show, the play can’t afford a weak link. Fortunately, Hilton, Serna, and Correa all give excellent performances. They make a believable group of friends. Their line delivery and timing were impeccable. Their acting, plus the direction from Oberman–Whitton, created great moments from small things. One of the night’s biggest laughs was caused by a character taking off their jacket.

Serge (Michael Serna)

As Yvan, Correa was a scene-stealer. He plays frantic so well and can move like a cartoon character. Yvan’s monologue about his wedding planning woes was outstanding.

Set Design:

The set depicts the living room of an apartment. When you see it before the show begins, you pick up on the fact that the play is set in current times, but otherwise, the set design does not tell you much about the characters or the setting. However, during the play itself, the set changes to depict each character’s respective apartment. Yvan’s apartment has abstract paintings featuring bold, vibrant colors. Marc’s apartment displays a landscape. The paintings are a great way of reflecting the characters’ personalities and expressing the play’s themes.

Yvan (Angel Correa)

Art is a very good show. Go see it at the Costa Mesa Playhouse.

Review
8.4 Overall
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Story9
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Very Good Show! OCR Recommended! April 4 – 20,2024.

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