'Rotterdam' by Jon Britain and Directed by Michael A. Shepperd Review
'Rotterdam', at its heart, is a play about love. Much of Jon Britan's play focuses on the relationship between a young lesbian couple, Alice and Fiona, and the former's inability to come out to her parents while a secret her girlfriend has finally surfaces. Fiona tells Alice that she has always known that she was a man and would like to transition and now be called Adrian.
The staging, music, and scene changes are unique and present a different approach to what could have potentially been a serious downfall for any play. Although the dialogue at times is a bit challenging, the core message of the play stays true no matter what challenging aspects the characters find themselves entering into.
The small, intricate cast ebbs and flows together nicely and, unlike with other performance of the play, the LA Production's Fiona/Adrian, played by talented Ashley Romans, makes her character likable, regardless of some of the cheesy dialogue the play presents.
However, it is Michael A. Shepperd casting of both Miranda Wynne, who portrays Alice, and Ashley Romans as Fiona/Adrian, that proves to be the true standout of the entire production. What could been seen a bad writing, comes off with ease and talent in the hands of these very gifted actors who are the heart of the play. Not only can you feel the passion between them but also you can see how both characters are able to play off of the raw emotions present in conveying such material in a respectful, empowering, and ultimately educating manner.
The play, much like its characters, is much more than just a simple theatre experience. The talkback sessions held after the play further the message of tolerance that we all could use more of. We'd be in a much better place socially, if only more plays and other forms of entertainment held the material in such high esteem and pushed their audiences to think beyond our gendered world.
Where: Skylight Theatre, 1816½ N. Vermont Ave., L.A.
When: 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, 8 p.m. Mondays; ends Dec. 31
Info: (213) 761-7061, skylighttheatrecompany.org
Running time: 2 hours, 10 minutes