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Four Places or Four Hells? Drama Brings to Light Family Secrets

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Roxanne Hart, Ann Gee Byrd and Tim Bagley in Four Places | Photo by John P. Flynn
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By Stephanie Taylor, Special to LAist

An uncomfortably familiar drama about navigating the minefield of family secrets, Four Places will extend its run in Theatre Theater through July 25. A West Coast premiere from playwright Joel Drake Johnson, Four Places invites the audience along as two adult children confront their septuagenarian mom about what happens behind closed doors when nobody else is home.

The show starts innocently enough, as Warren (Tim Bagley) accompanies his mother Peggy (Anne Gee Byrd) and his sister Ellen (Roxanne Hart) on their weekly lunch excursion. Already raising suspicions, for Warren is a schoolteacher and it's a weekday, Warren and Ellen proceed to ambush their mother about allegations from the housekeeper, while the overly peppy waitress Barb (Lisa Rothschiller) seems determined to protect Peggy from her children's insidious behavior. Fervent questioning from both sides elicits unwanted truths and that delicate line of disclosure/nondisclosure between parent and offspring is crossed with the same delicacy as a running back breaking through the defensive line.