L.A. Theatre Works. (Relativity Series). Feb. 2023. 1:20 hrs. ISBN 9781682661734. $4.99. DRAMA
What is the hope for continued existence in a world of disaster and increasing chaos? Such is the question at the heart of Wohl’s (Small Mouth Sounds) “play in six takes,” which is a serious reflection on the future of climate change and a farcical send-up of Hollywood filmmaking. Harrowed director Maria (narrated by Liza Weil) and her film crew struggle to coax three alternately frustrating and frustrated actors through their performances during the climactic scene of a tottering ecoterrorism-themed blockbuster. Characters quickly fall into tired clichés, both on and off camera—the demanding diva (narrated by Sarah Drew), the empty-headed muscleman (narrated by Johnny Berchtold), the prickly thespian (narrated by Bukola Ogunmola)—with tensions threatening the production and Maria’s career. Add a script-doctor ex (narrated by Seamus Dever) and a wet-blanket science consultant (narrated by Stephen Tobolowsky, a bit-player standout), and listeners are left with a grim portrait of the future, for the movie as well as the planet.
VERDICT A climate-charged spoof of filmmaking superficiality that solidly entertains but doesn’t quite soar. Directed in its excellent audio format by Anna Lyse Erikson and part of L.A. Theatre Works’ “Relativity Series” of science-themed plays.
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