photos by Nathan Hauugard
One needn't be a fan of conspiracy theories or the NFL to appreciate Sunny Afternoon, but a more than passing familiarity with both could offer grounding for the macho power games of playwright Christian Levatino's taut and inspired take on the JFK assassination. Sunny Afternoon wonders what exactly went down over the course of the two days that Lee Harvey Oswald spent in custody of the Dallas police, before his appointment with the business end of Jack Ruby's revolver. Was Oswald just a pawn in a shadowy larger game? How do the priorities of ordinary people become political footballs? Why is CocaCola so dang refreshing? Much of the humor of Levatino's tersely funny script springs from the well delineated personalities featured in its large, finely polished ensemble, in particular Darrett Sanders' assured performance as the shrewd but outfoxed homicide captain William Fritz, trying to conduct an honest investigation amidst the machinations.
“A Primer in ensemble acting… all actors in Los Angeles… should catch this production simply to be reminded of how it’s done.”
"Levatino’s knack for creating rich characters and clever dialogue—not to mention casting exceptional actors to interpret his vision—makes it possible to suspend belief in knowing historically how this sunny afternoon a half century ago turned out. Even as the play rushes through 90 minutes of tense confrontations and chest butting among between a roomful of testosteroneladen Texans calling dibs before what we all know will be the inevitable conclusion, Levatino’s deliciously perverse final twist is a knockout sure to flabbergast even the heartiest Kennedy assassination theoreticians."
ARTS IN L.A.
Travis Michael Holder
"A powerful piece with an equally powerful cast. Sunny Afternoon will keep you spellbound in