Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"Trouble Cometh" ☼ ☼ ☼ BANG

It's sharp, witty and contemporary. The World Premiere of Richard Dresser's "Trouble Cometh" is a unique story and production whose cleverness grabs your attention, but at the same time doesn't involve you all that much with the characters -- until the fabulous ending.

After that, OK! Now, we go back in our minds and think, Aha! That's why he was marrying her? All right, then. And his awful boss and that stereotype Indian? Now we get it. How about why the two women slavered over this milquetoast? Waddayaknow. It all makes sense. Sadly, the curtain has come down, the actors have received their ovations and the show is over.

"Trouble Cometh" is a farce with a warning. We can't reveal much about it, because surprise is everything here. Kyle Cameron plays Joe, the poor slob, who has been unemployed and struggling until he has met Susan (Marissa Keltie) who has introduced him to Dennis (Patrick Russell) and Kelly (Liz Sklar), who need someone to help develop and pitch a new Reality TV show to Vashti (Nandita Shenoy). Of course, producers being producers, they are clueless as to what happens to the real people their reality show would involve. Until the end, of course.

May Adrales directs and Nina Ball's sparse set design is eye-catching. It's not easy to know what to make of the slick, manufactured world of "Trouble Cometh," which, of course, is exactly the point.


The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division took some time to rate this show. Until the ending it might not have received a GO SEE rating, because none of the characters made us work up much of a sweat about them; afterwards, however, it jumped 'way past MEH and landed at MUST SEE. We've talked about the show for days afterwards and this is a welcomed rarity. Put it all together and we say: Three Stars with a BANGLE OF PRAISE.  GO SEEITH TROUBLE COMETH.

"Trouble Cometh"
San Francisco Playhouse
450 Post Street, 2d floor of Kensington Park Hotel, San Francisco
Through June 27


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