Among the many places to visit in Melrose Village – restaurants, shopping, and so on – are many small theatres (or theaters, depending on your spelling preference). And by “small” we mean with 99 seats or less, not small in presentation. Among these are the Greenway Theatre on Fairfax, the Matrix Theatre near Stanley, the Lyric Theatre on La Brea, Neon Venus Art Theatre, east of La Brea, The Groundlings Theatre near Poinsettia and the Zephyr Theatre near Vista. So you can see there is no shortage of places to see shows within walking distance right here in Melrose Village.
On a related matter, there is continuing issues regarding the status of 99-seat theatres relating to the Actors’ Equity Association contract. But that’s not what we’re going to talk about here.
The black comedy classic The House of Yes is now playing at the Zephyr Theatre through June 14. Zephyr Theatre producing artistic director Lee Sankowich directs this 25th anniversary revival of the wickedly entertaining play by Wendy MacLeod that became a cult classic indie film.
In the play, as a violent hurricane swirls outside the Pascal family home in McLean, VA, the storm of the century is about to erupt inside. Mrs. Pascal (Eileen T’Kaye), daughter Jackie-O (Kate Maher) [at home from a mental institution], and younger son Anthony (Nicholas McDonald) are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Jackie’s twin brother for Thanksgiving. But when Marty (Colin McGurk) brings along his new fiancée (Jeanne Syquia), secrets unravel [including the sexual relationship between the twins], and the family’s elegant veneer begins to crack. And somehow the what happened to JFK in November, 1963 comes into the mix. And what could be funnier than mental illness, incest and the Kennedy assassination?
So why is it called “The House of Yes”? Author Wendy MacLeod says, “It seemed the perfect title for a house of immorality. No one has ever said ‘No’ to these people.”
The House of Yes premiered at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, then played at Las Palmas Theater in 1990 here in L.A.. In 1995, it opened at New York’s SoHo Rep. In 1995, the play was made into a Miramax film, a cult favorite to this day, that earned a Special Jury Award at Sundance.
Everything about the show is terrific. The direction and staging of this edition is so wonderful in this small venue. The acting is top notch, and, of course, the script is awesome.
The House of Yes continues at the Zephyr Theatre – 7456 Melrose Ave., just west of Vista Ave. – through June 14 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. General admission is $25. For reservations and information, call 323-960-5563 or go to www.plays411.com/houseofyes.