Just “45 Minutes from Broadway”

Aubrey Canfield

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David Garver and Tanna Frederick in "Just 45 Minutes from Broadway" Photo courtesy of Lori De Waal

David Garver and Tanna Frederick in "Just 45 Minutes from Broadway" Photo courtesy of Lori De Waal

Forty-five minutes from Broadway and a thousand miles from earth, the Isaac family is anything but normal. Hendry Jaglom’s new play is about a family of actors struggling to survive in the world. Vivian and George Isaac’s two daughters, Betsy and Pandora (a.k.a Panda) live on opposite ends of the world. Betsy never liked the life of the theater. Resenting never having had a “normal” childhood, she left as soon as she could, taking her place among the civilians. Pandora adversely eats, sleeps and breathes the theater so much that it has been the cause of many unhappy relationships and her inability to function in the world. “Just 45 Minutes from Broadway” begins when Betsy brings her fiancé home to meet her family. Emotions fly and truths are told when the two worlds collide.

The Rainbow Theatre Company comes to the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica. The space is captivating; a black box stage is converted in to a quaint suburban home. The stage, with all its intricacies and dimensions, is enough to entertain an audience. The production elements create a cinematic quality through skillful lighting and scenic design.

A touching story to say the least, the play on a whole was warm and fuzzy. Certain elements, however, which drive a story to greater heights, seemed lacking or not present at all. A love story develops between Pandora and Betsy’s fiancé. Without much development, their passion seems to appear out of nowhere, leaving the audience wondering if they couldn’t decide how to develop this affair.

Pandora, the artistic and sensitive lover of the theater, is meant to represent the raw emotion that binds us to art, yet the majority of her time on stage seemed to be spent in juvenile tantrums or frantic tears. All this coming from a character who has supposedly just turned 30.

Diane Salinger (Vivien), however, was a delight. When Salinger was on the stage, grace and ease seemed to radiate from her body. Every movement and tone of voice was soft, comforting and beautiful. I would return simply to see her again.

“Just 45 minutes from Broadway” is playing at the Edgemar Center for the Arts through Dec. 20th. A good chuckle and a sentimental moment, you decide if it’s worth the $25 ticket, and I’ll be seeing you at the theater. Ticket reservations can be made by calling (310) 392-7327 or by visiting www.edgemarcenter.org.