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Without Walls Festival: Counterweight at La Jolla Playhouse

Counterweight, An Elevator Love Play.

Betty Jean in her Elevator of Love.
Betty Jean in her Elevator of Love.
Place

Potiker Theatre at UCSD

9500 Gilman Drive, San Diego

Place

Moxie Theatre

6663 El Cajon Boulevard, Suite N, San Diego

A preview of coming attractions at the La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls Festival (October 3-6). You could almost say the festival stages plays anywhere but in a theater. The plays are one-acts. Most run less than an hour and take place in environments that match their subject matter.

Moxie Theatre’s “site” is an elevator at the La Jolla Playhouse’s Potiker Theatre. Jennifer Barclay’s comedy-drama follows the ups and downs in three relationships. The audience rises and falls as well. They sit in the elevator on folding chairs. When the elevator stops at a certain floor, the doors open like a stage curtain pulled back. Spectators watch the couples at pivotal points.

Ed and Coco are barely old enough to drive. Nonetheless, they meet in their school’s boiler room and decide to what? Run away together? Maybe. Though Ed assumed they were meeting to make out, which would be a relatively new experience for him.

Liv and Teresa have reached a point where role-playing (a la Little Red Riding Hood and a reluctant wolf) isn’t enough to accommodate one’s desire for a child.

Lennox and Gracie have been married for decades. And both are set in their ways: he for couch-potato stasis; she for movement, seeing new sights. They’re about to take a trip. Yet he’s as reluctant as Little Red Riding Hood’s wolf.

Part of the show’s fun: we take the 30 minute ride on “Betty Jean’s Elevator of Love.” Dressed in a salmon-colored outfit, Betty Jean (Lisel Gorell-Getz) narrates our journey and proves to be if not daft, then at least drifting away from kilter. She apparently has no existence beyond the elevator – doesn’t even know the male operator next door.

She warns us of the dangers of riding elevators (no need on that score, I was trapped in one for 15 minutes once; no, make that A CENTURY OF CLAUSTROPHOBIA).

Betty Jean swears that, for love to work, it needs to be counter-balanced, like an elevator, like her relationship with the man rising up as we descend?

But Betty Jean, will the twain ever meet?

The brief scenes evolve from over-weighted scales to the possibility (but not necessarily the fact; the playwright’s wiser than that) of equilibrium.

An elevator’s an interesting choice. In this day and age where people feel compelled to publicize every single move they make – often in elevators – why not? The doors open to intimate/funny exchanges far more interesting that the Oral Odysseys of the Entitled.


Counterweight, Moxie Theatre, Potiker Theatre elevator, La Jolla Playhouse, playing October 3-6, every half-hour from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Betty Jean in her Elevator of Love.
Betty Jean in her Elevator of Love.
Place

Potiker Theatre at UCSD

9500 Gilman Drive, San Diego

Place

Moxie Theatre

6663 El Cajon Boulevard, Suite N, San Diego

A preview of coming attractions at the La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls Festival (October 3-6). You could almost say the festival stages plays anywhere but in a theater. The plays are one-acts. Most run less than an hour and take place in environments that match their subject matter.

Moxie Theatre’s “site” is an elevator at the La Jolla Playhouse’s Potiker Theatre. Jennifer Barclay’s comedy-drama follows the ups and downs in three relationships. The audience rises and falls as well. They sit in the elevator on folding chairs. When the elevator stops at a certain floor, the doors open like a stage curtain pulled back. Spectators watch the couples at pivotal points.

Ed and Coco are barely old enough to drive. Nonetheless, they meet in their school’s boiler room and decide to what? Run away together? Maybe. Though Ed assumed they were meeting to make out, which would be a relatively new experience for him.

Liv and Teresa have reached a point where role-playing (a la Little Red Riding Hood and a reluctant wolf) isn’t enough to accommodate one’s desire for a child.

Lennox and Gracie have been married for decades. And both are set in their ways: he for couch-potato stasis; she for movement, seeing new sights. They’re about to take a trip. Yet he’s as reluctant as Little Red Riding Hood’s wolf.

Part of the show’s fun: we take the 30 minute ride on “Betty Jean’s Elevator of Love.” Dressed in a salmon-colored outfit, Betty Jean (Lisel Gorell-Getz) narrates our journey and proves to be if not daft, then at least drifting away from kilter. She apparently has no existence beyond the elevator – doesn’t even know the male operator next door.

She warns us of the dangers of riding elevators (no need on that score, I was trapped in one for 15 minutes once; no, make that A CENTURY OF CLAUSTROPHOBIA).

Betty Jean swears that, for love to work, it needs to be counter-balanced, like an elevator, like her relationship with the man rising up as we descend?

But Betty Jean, will the twain ever meet?

The brief scenes evolve from over-weighted scales to the possibility (but not necessarily the fact; the playwright’s wiser than that) of equilibrium.

An elevator’s an interesting choice. In this day and age where people feel compelled to publicize every single move they make – often in elevators – why not? The doors open to intimate/funny exchanges far more interesting that the Oral Odysseys of the Entitled.


Counterweight, Moxie Theatre, Potiker Theatre elevator, La Jolla Playhouse, playing October 3-6, every half-hour from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Comments
1

Great to see a festival of performance anywhere but a theatre like the Anywhere Theatre Festival taking place in San Diego.

Oct. 2, 2013

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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