“Fixed” is a story of love that never had a chance

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Wow! I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing. It reached down deep within me and brought back powerful memories from over a half century ago and now here it was on stage in Los Angeles. Way back when the dinosaurs roamed I was a young Marine traveling throughout much of Southeast Asia. What many of us found rather frequently were a number of very pretty young women who weren’t – women that is. They were what we came to understand as “Lady Boys” and we soon understood what others meant when they told us that in Asia some of the most beautiful women weren’t.

The whole vibe and lifestyle is by any measure extraordinary and playwright Boni B. Alvarez has done a masterful job of portraying the often weird and bizarre yet at the same time unavoidably compelling world of Lady Boys and massage parlors where the customers usual enjoy a happy ending.

Presenting this world takes enormous delicacy and finesse, which Boni B. Alvarez demonstrates extremely well. Failing such skill it would be far too easy to merely dismiss the world of the Lady Boys and those around them as nothing more than weirdos, but that misses the greater point. Bizarre that world is but it is also brimming with passion and joy and pain on many levels and all of that comes through in Fixed.

Fixed is in the end a tragic love story of a relationship that never had a chance but which was nevertheless a powerful motivator for Miracles [played by Chris Aguila]. Her or his love interest is Mariano [Wade Allain-Marcus] the wild brother of a successful politician who is very conflicted. How the relationship plays out is the central theme of the show and while tragic it is also unforgettable.

It is focused on Filipino massage parlor in Los Angeles and not in Olongapo, Philippines or Bangkok, Thailand or even Singapore but the same dynamics are in play regardless of location. Screenwriter Boni B. Alvarez is perfect in his presentation of Gigi the manager or in some places known as the mamasan of the establishment.

But enough of the details, this is a show extremely well presented and most who see it will be deeply impressed. However I do caution that some people may find it offensive and it is definitely not for children, If you want to be exposed to very real element within the greater human experience do get over the Echo Theatre Company at the Atwater Village Theatre and get your imagination and curiosity fixed.

Fixed runs now through October 22nd at the Atwater Theatre, 3269 Casitas Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90039. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m., Sundays at 4:00 p.m. and Mondays at 8:30 p.m. Reservations and ticketing are available by calling 310-307-3753 or online at:  www.EchoTheatreCompany.com

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