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THE STONES AT THE KIRK DOUGLAS THEATRE
By Mark Share
03/24/2006


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THE STONES at the Kirk Douglas Theatre Bad bored boys are the subject of this boisterous production that should more than satisfy the teen audience that the Center Theatre Group is reaching out to through its youth theatre program, called P.L.A.Y (Performing for Los Angeles Youth). This Australian import (that’s why the title is Stones and not Rocks) concerns a pair of boys, ages 13 and 15, and how they come to pitch rocks from an overpass, killing a motorist. The two actors (Joe Hernandez-Kolski and Justin Huen) also play two policemen, who disagree about the guilt of the younger kid.

The physicality of the production includes two mock skateboard ramps that the actors slide and run over, a wire ladder, and movements on foot, bike, and skateboard. Choreographer Jacques Helm (don’t hate him just because he’s French) creates excitement with the actors’ movements, while not overshadowing the drama of the dialogue. The writers, Tom Lycos and Stefo Nantsou, working from a true event, achieve ambiguity in their telling – how accidental was the death? How bullied was the younger child? Could the younger teen anticipate so much damage from a dropped rock? Have the kids suffered enough? Corey Madden directs with all due speed; the show takes about an hour, including the final courtroom drama.

The message for kids is that minor, thoughtless misdeeds can have life changing effects. And maybe theatre doesn’t suck. The message for grownups is that locking up kids means that we’re not seeing them as kids. And maybe the theatre isn’t really dead.



Want to know what other Theatre Critics are saying? Check out Bitter Lemons to see if others have reviewed this production.



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MONTHLY LA EVENTS CALENDAR

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