Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

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.

Arts and Entertainment

Raunchy & Crass With a Conscience, 'The Vault: (Unlocked)' at LATC

VaultUnlockedProductionPhoto.jpg
Brenda Banda, Sam Golari, Esperanza America Ibarra, Vicki Syal, and Aaron Garcia in 'The Vault: (Unlocked)' (photo by Hector Cruz Salvador).
Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Based on the true stories of Downtown residents, the slightly seedy and deeply hilarious gentrification fable "The Vault: (Unlocked)" is currently playing at Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC). Vault Ensemble pokes fun at the hipster colonization of Downtown Los Angeles, bundling social commentary on redevelopment and loss of urban culture into an edgy farce with musical influences. The work is clever, stylish, dark, and so funny that the audience is frequently overcome by tears, coughs, and strained belly muscles through intense laughter.

The ensemble cast has excellent comedic timing and unpretentious sensibilities that culminate into rich vignettes that link to tell a twisted, raunchy, crass and Angeleno-centric good versus evil story. The non-cliché humor and quirky script are delivered by capable performers who act, sing, beat box, and occasionally employ choreographed gestures. All of the Vault cast members -- Brenda Banda, Stephen Buchanan, Aaron Garcia, Sam Golzari, Fidel Gomez, Esperanza America Ibarra, Theodore Lange IV, Jasmine Orpilla, and Vicki Syal -- are equally talented and comically brilliant. Banda, Gomez, and Golzari handle the dramatic slant well, affectionately crafting multifaceted characters. Ibarra and Lange are riotously funny.

Under the direction of Garcia and Gomez, "The Vault: (Unlocked)" is fluid, atmospheric, artful, and well-executed. The audience is constantly entertained by the fresh, high-energy, home-grown production style. Costume design by Yoshino Miyazato is simple, modern and whimsical. Francois Pierre-Couture's set and lighting design is sharp and shadowy. It is by far the funniest show this reviewer has seen this year.

"The Vault: (Unlocked)" is playing through October 8, 2011 at Los Angeles Theatre Center. Tickets are $10 to $20 and available online