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LAist Recommends: 'Months on End'

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"Months on End," playing at the Tre Stage on La Brea at Sunset this is a treat -- a great indie theater find with a strong script and a great cast. We attended the show last Friday where we watched 12 months of happiness and heartache unfold.

The play starts with a New Year's Eve party in January, then continues to introduce the characters, a few at a time, as we learn how their lives are intertwined. Throughout, relationships are beginning and ending, going through their tough times and their most touching moments, and the twenty- and thirtysomething characters struggle with getting past their anxieties and moving forward in their lives.

One of the best scenes is a college graduation speech gone awry. The valedictorian, standing alone on the stage, drops her note cards and puts together a patchwork speech that's in part a painfully awkward freak-out, an anti-establishment ad-lib and a slapstick moment, which had us alternately squirming in our seats and laughing out loud.

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Another favorite scene was a blow-out over a chipped Beatles collector's item which pits a misguided personal obsession against the frightening possibility of losing a marriage. It's this sort of juxtaposition of an otherwise funny situation with undertones of desperation and isolation that create the mix of comedy, tragedy and uncertainty that make the play feel very real.

The play's humanity, though, ultimately comes from its good writing and strong performances. The cast is packed with MFAs who inject a lot of personality and compassion into their characters, making them come alive on the on the nearly barren stage. They make you forget you're in a tiny black-box theater, and the 12 short scenes move along quickly, with brief music interludes from a great playlist.

The show is only running for one more weekend, and it's definitely worth a look. Seating is limited to two rows of bench seats surrounding the stage, and be sure to dress for sitting under some hot theater lights.

What: "Months on End" by Craig Pospisil
When: Friday, September 16, 2008 at 8:00 p.m./Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.
Where: The Tre Stage, 1523 N. La Brea, Studio 210, Los Angeles, CA
How much: $15
How long: The show is about an hour and a half and doesn't have an intermission
What to wear: Go casual and don't wear anything too warm -- you'll be sitting so close to the stage, you'll be under the same hot lights as the actors
Bathroom break: There's no intermission and you won't be able to get out of the theater without crossing the stage, so make sure to powder your nose or whatever else before the show
Refreshments: Grab a cup and take part in the complementary wine or whatever else is being passed around

Photo by Rodolfo Clix/SXC