BWW Review: GOD'S WAITING ROOM Reveals How Telling the Truth Can Set You Free
In it, Lois (Kathleen Garrett) and her husband Stephen (Randy Vasquez) arrive at a small Palm Springs Hospital where her brother, Billy* (Jeremy Glazer), is dying. She is a conservative from the family's hometown in Milford, Delaware, whose lean on life borders on bigotry. This is apparent from the very beginning of the play when she is greeted warmly by Nurse Shondra* (LeShay Boyce) who Lois promptly dismisses as being unworthy of her respect as a human being, her medical knowledge not worthy of belief when it comes to her brother's prospects.
As she waits for a doctor to update her on her brother's condition, we learn that Lois is affronted by Billy's lifestyle as gay man and has not spoken to him for over 20 years. It's heartbreaking when she admits, "He may be on his death bed but he's been dead to his family for years." I am sure that is an opinion shared by way too many families, often causing "coming out" to result in "being thrown out." Refusing to go to his bedside in ICU, Lois bemoans her life with and without him, during which time Billy appears (in several, emotional out-of-body visits) to play out the scenes Lois has been describing. And it becomes apparent his take on each situation is very different from hers, except when it comes to the bitter treatment both received from their abusive father.
A devout Catholic, Lois is shocked when Anglican priest Carlos Mendez (Mark Adair-Rios) arrives with red roses to look in on Billy, prepared to give him his last rites. During their waiting room discussions, he reveals Billy is his husband and they have been together for years after his family disowned him. Besides their religious differences, Lois looks upon the two men as deviants who don't deserve salvation on Earth or beyond, an opinion not shared by her husband or the nurse, who values and treats all people equally in their time of medical need.When her prejudices collide with her past, Lois is confronted by what they've cost her not only in her own life but in the lives of everyone around her - especially her brother. Be prepared for a shocking twist at the end that changes everything and will have you walking out of the theater realizing how the truth can really set you free to live life to the fullest. It may be too late for Lois, but not for us. It's a powerful lesson learned in the 90-minute play presented without an intermission.
All of the actors are deeply dedicated to honestly presenting their dramatic roles, with Ms. Garrett taking her curtain call in well-earned tears on opening night.
GOD'S WAITING ROOM continues through April 4, 2017 on Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 8PM and Sunday at 5PM at the Matrix Theatre, located at 7657 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA. 90046. Street parking available, but be sure to read the sign restrictions. Tickets at the door are $28 general admission on Friday & Saturday, $20 general admission on Thursday & Sunday. Purchase tickets online at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2863684
Photos by Pam Notes
*The roles of Billy and Nurse Shondra are being shared as follows:
Billy - Charlie Pacello on 3/12 & Thurs. & Sunday
Nurse Shondra - Atika Greene on 3/12, 3/17, 3/18