Review: A Solid Production of SECOND SKIN Perfectly Fits Like a Glove

By: May. 02, 2016

SECOND SKIN/by Kristin Idaszak/directed by Kate Jopson/on the beach in front of the Annenberg Beach House/thru May 15, 2016

Kristin Idaszak's SECOND SKIN receives a strong and novel mounting on the sands of the Santa Monica Beach. Fueled by the powerful performances of Sarah Halford, Claire Kaplan and Susannah Rea-Dowling, Idaszak weaves the mythical bedtime stories and real life tales of a daughter and her estranged mother dying of ALS. With a set designed by Mother Nature herself and lit only by battery- run lanterns post-sunset, director Kate Jopson keeps her talented trio spilling their guts at a steady pace. How strangely eerie, but effective to have the actresses running out of the circle within the seated audience and towards the shore wired with their body mikes allowing the audience to continue hearing their rantings.

Show begins with Rea-Dowling as daughter Quinn. Rae-Dowling mesmerizes and entrances with her intertwining storytelling of the Celtic folktales of Selkies (half-human, half-seal), her vivid recounting of her trying childhood being raised by her mentally unstable mother Segrid and the revelation of Segrid's fatal disease. Rea-Dowling convincingly modulates her enthusiasm with her rebelliousness and her helplessness.

Kaplan's a manic, hyper Segrid. Very protective of, but emotionally shut down to her daughter. Incidents that led up to her distancing from Quinn surfaces.

Halford inhabits her role of Ashland, Segrid's sister no one even knew existed. Of course, with Ashland's addition version of the family history filling in Segrid's blanks, current situations make sense (if you believe in folktales, that is.)

Ingenious choice of The West and The Flagship Ensemble to produce Idaszak's piece (with integral elements of water) actually near the wave-crashing shoreline. Do dress warmly, very warmly as the Santa Monica Beach can get very cold after sunset.


HITCHCOCK LANE Premieres at Hollywood Fringe This Month Photo
HITCHCOCK LANE Premieres at Hollywood Fringe This Month

In the past few years or so, acclaimed artistic multi-hyphenate Soda Persi has written a number of short theatrical scripts that featured the real and honest moments of characters experiencing both extreme life changes as well as the sometimes tough and tedious struggles of everyday life. Hitchcock Lane makes its world premiere at Studio/Stage this June as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

THE CLEAN HOUSE is at the Long Beach Playhouse Beginning This Week Photo
THE CLEAN HOUSE is at the Long Beach Playhouse Beginning This Week

From award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl comes this dramatic comedy infused with laughter and magical realism. Married physicians Lane and Charles have hired Matilde, a Brazilian woman, to clean their house.

Photos: First Look At FOUR At The Hollywood Fringe Festival Photo
Photos: First Look At FOUR At The Hollywood Fringe Festival

Cle Holly’s deeply moving musical, FOUR — concerning a “chosen family” within a string quartet facing an uncertain future — begins its run at the 2023 Hollywood Fringe this week. See photos from the production.

FOR YEARS TO COME With Richard Riehle to Premiere In Los Angeles At Dances With Films Photo
FOR YEARS TO COME With Richard Riehle to Premiere In Los Angeles At Dances With Films

The half-hour TV pilot 'For Years to Come' will premiere in Los Angeles at the Dances With Films festival on Saturday July 1st at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd.

From This Author - Gil Kaan

      Gil Kaan, a former Managing Editor of the now-defunct Genre magazine, has had the privilege of photographing and interviewing some major divas of film, television, and stage in hi... (read more about this author)


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