Whether one wants to be a singer, actor or even a business executive, each person is trying to make it in the world and can relate, in some way, to what the two characters face in Pinch ‘N’ Ouch’s production of Let’s Make It. While the two characters are in the film business, the central theme is universal: how far will one go to pursue his own dreams.
In the play Brandon, played by Barrett Doyle, is fighting to become a well-known and respected filmmaker. Complicating the matter is his own jealously of his wife Anessa’s (Heather Rule) success as an independent film actress, who herself is trying to make it in the business. Will he risk his own marriage to find success? More so than making it in the film industry, the play is about a couple trying to make their marriage work.
Known as a director and actor, this drama marks Grant McGowen’s entry as a playwright in the Atlanta theater scene, and this debut is a strong one. The story is gripping and engaging with tense dialogue and rich characters, who have interesting features and leave you wanting to know more about their pasts. The sudden ending, which took the audience by surprise, leaves each person in attendance to draw his/her own conclusion about the couple’s future.
Scenic designer Kyle Ankiel has created a wonderful recreation of a modest New York City apartment, and the video (edited by Will Dove) that plays in the opening and during scene changes adds to the play while it shows the two characters in happier times out in the city.
As the couple both Rule and Doyle, under McGowen’s skillful direction, pace the play well and avoid the traps of a two person play. Each one creates a captivating character, but it is Rule’s Anessa who truly stands out. Fully embodying the heart and soul of Anessa, she shines in the role. Her emotional performance is captivating and provides a solid foundation for the production.
Just shy of 80 minutes long, Let’s Make It packs a quick and turbulent journey into the lives of this couple as they try to make it in the film business and make their own marriage work. It plays at Pinch ‘N’ Ouch Theatre through March 2, 2013. For tickets and more information, please visit the theater’s website.
– A. Wesley