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Speaking in Tongues in Santa Monica

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The resilient and acclaimed Open Fist Theatre Company, recently thrust from their home of 15 years in Hollywood, has gallantly taken up residence in a new home at the Powerhouse Theatre in Santa Monica. Speaking in Tongues, by Andrew Bovell, is the last show of their 05-06 season. It is a perfect collaboration, not only between two theatre companies, one with a play and no stage, and another with a space and an empty slot in their season, but also between first-time director Stephen Spinella and his agile, miraculous cast. LAIST saw it last Sunday and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

This play is perfect for anyone who has ever had sex, killed someone, or wanted to do either one. Speaking in Tongues is a mystery without a murder, although there is violence.  This theatrical whodunit leads the audience and the characters down many different roads of blame, confusion, and suspense on the trail of betrayal. We open with two cheating couples and the aftermath of one night's infidelity. From the first lines of dialogue, one scene cuts back and forth with another. No one, including characters or audience, ever sees what really happens. Like different witnesses' accounts in a police report, the play slowly gives us the bare truth.