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Arts and Entertainment

The Lights Go Up On "Come Sundown"

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Nancy Berggren, Shelly Kurtz, and Jeison Azali (photo: Agnes Magyari)
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Lamenting that we live in a “magic-less time,” quirky old Zak and his perky old wife Eva harness ancient spiritual powers to bring two lovers together and stave off environmental destruction in Anthony F. Cronin’s new play, Come Sundown, at the Ruskin Group Theatre.

Their Edenic homestead threatened by an ambitious real estate developer, Zak and Eva turn to a pair of idealistic lawyers, Noelle and Tom, to protect the beloved land they’ve shared since they were the dashing and frisky young newlyweds we meet in the play’s opening scene. As they recognize their day is passing, Zak and Eva identify Noelle and Tom as spiritual heirs—if only they could get these two broken souls to hook up.

A perfect cast might just be able to elevate Cronin’s earnestly sentimental, occasionally lyrical text into a moving fairy tale. All in all, this is not that cast, although Nancy Berggren as the elder Eva and Shane Adler as Noelle are bright standouts, especially in the scene where Eva charms, embarrasses and gently tricks Noelle into admitting her true feelings for Tom.

Come Sundown, directed by Karen Landry, plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2 through May 14 at the Ruskin Group Theatre in the Santa Monica Aiport. Tickets available for $6 and $16.50 on goldstar.com.