Currently at the intimate yet charming theatre known as Actors Workout Studio this intriguing slice of theatrical life they call War Stories is in fact a complex and sometimes weird tale of evolving relationships and ultimately true love. Only four actors are involved and each begins with a monologue that sets up the general premise of the show. Each character is unique and the interplay between the two men and two women becomes the core of the story and it is a story that absolutely everyone above the age of 20 years can to some extent relate to.
Roxanne Jaeckel is Chelsea, a woman who knows that she is hot and also realizes that can be as much of a problem as a blessing. Alexander Carroll is Jake and a somewhat crude man with an intense crush on Chelsea. Sarah Kelly is all in as the playwright, Executive Producer and the character Jen. Jen finds herself at the brink of what should be the ideal marriage only to walk away. But fear not for Jen knows how to fight on. Finally there is Samuel Martin Lewis from Massachusetts and thrilled to be in Los Angeles as Sam sharing living space with Chelsea while constantly thinking about Jen. See, complicated.
While not exactly Hamilton War Stories is at the very least entertaining with an abundance of humor and a very much needed happy ending at least for half of the characters. And I again emphasize that it is a very relatable tale so much so that in one scene Chelsea reflects upon life with her thoroughly alcoholic mother and the first thought that popped into my mind was, “Gee apparently Chelsea is my sister.”
War Stories is presented primarily as a montage of monologues, but they are well done and they do ultimately present a cogent and entertaining story. If you are looking for something a bit different from the ordinary fair do get over to the Actors Workout Studio, 4735 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, California 91602 sometime between now and February 26th 2017.
Show times are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. except on Oscar Sunday February 26th when it will be at 2:00 p.m. only. Reservations and ticketing can be arranged by calling 818-506-3903 or online.
Photos by Lemon Mellon Photography
Top photo: Samuel Martin Lewis and Sarah Kelly
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.