Bring a Pillow, Get Comfy on the Couch: 'Amongst the Trees' at cARTel's Living Room Tour
Lauren Smerkanich's masterfully crafted, thoroughly enjoyable drama, Amongst the Trees, is making rounds throughout the city as part of cARTel's Living Room Tour. The production features exceptional writing, direction, and performance in a unique, unpretentious, and welcoming atmosphere. Amongst the Trees gives its audience an introspective look at the dysfunctional, fluctuating interpersonal dynamics of central character Barbara and her eccentric father as they deal with major loss. The Living Room Tour is intimate, pioneering, conceptually brilliant, and provides a perfect context for Smerkanich's witty new play. The cast of Amongst the Trees is young, understated, and extremely talented. Coco Kleppinger leads as the confused and overwhelmed Barbara. Kleppinger brings an intriguing blend of grace, biting acerbity, and spirit to her character. Issac Wade is captivating and endearing as Gregory, Barbara's father. Wade is clearly far too young to be playing an aging father, but his skill as an actor makes him utterly and completely believable in the role. Phil Daddario is eager, gentle, and charismatic as Luke, Barbara's boyfriend.
Sean Lewellyn is a transformative director with an excellent understanding of natural, uncontrived human behavior patterns. He makes full use of the range of the apartment and culls an absorbing production out of a simple living room without the benefits of physical theatre's lighting or technical crew.
Living Room Tour host Negin Singh on opening night of 'Amongst the Trees' (photo by Rob Morano).
An excellent playwright, Smerkanich's work is robust, refined, beautifully timed, and full of depth. Amongst the Trees is one of the best productions we've seen this year.
Amongst the Trees is playing in various living rooms across L.A. Tickets are $10. General locations and advance tickets are available online. Specific location details are given at the time of ticket purchase.