This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Theatre Review: 'Murder on the Bounding Main'
We had never been to Sierra Madre before, and this writer’s significant other can be enticed to see theatre once in a blue moon - especially if the production involves murders or mysteries, so we decided to make the drive up the 210 freeway to the sleepy little burg to catch Murder on the Bounding Main at the Sierra Madre Playhouse.
It’s such a sleepy little burg that most of the cute coffee shops and restaurants were starting to close up shop by play’s intermission -- and unfortunately, the play itself wasn’t a “destination production.” It was a middling community-theatre whodunit, and perfect if, say your parents (or grandparents) are in town and you’re at a total loss as to what to do with them after an early bird dinner.
The premise of writer (and lead actor) Jack Chansler’s play is simple. The year is 1953. A celebrity gossip columnist-critic (Jim Follet) is murdered aboard The Bounding Main, a ship on a transatlantic voyage. There are numerous suspects, including the purportedly gay Hollywood leading man (Brian Ames), his manager (Richard Leppig) and a comic scorned by the critic (Barry Schwarm).
Luckily, ace sleuth Mordecai Pierce (Chansler) is honeymooning aboard the Bounding Main - albeit with a bad bad bout of seasickness. Good thing that his new wife, and former assistant Teresa (Joanna Houghton), is on hand to help solve the case. (The only mystery that Teresa left unsolved was whether she was from England or New Jersey. Houghton seemed to unintentionally slip into various accents, which was a little distracting.)
Bounding Main is an innocuous production, with a few laughs and a little suspense. When Chansler introduces a more serious subplot about communist witch hunts of the '50s late in the play, we're not sure what genre it really wants to be. So if you find yourself in Sierra Madre with your parents, and have nothing better to do, then go support the Sierra Madre Playhouse -- otherwise save yourself the drive.
Murder on the Bounding Main
Sierra Madre Playhouse
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm
Sundays at 2:30 pm
Through Feb. 21
Donald Trump was a fading TV presence when the WGA strike put a dent in network schedules.
Pickets are being held outside at movie and TV studios across the city
For some critics, this feels less like a momentous departure and more like a footnote.
Disneyland's famous "Fantasmic!" show came to a sudden end when its 45-foot animatronic dragon — Maleficent — burst into flames.
Leads Ali Wong and Steven Yeun issue a joint statement along with show creator Lee Sung Jin.
Every two years, Desert X presents site-specific outdoor installations throughout the Coachella Valley. Two Los Angeles artists have new work on display.