Review: BRIGHT HALF LIFE at The Road Theatre On Magnolia

The smart, moving two-person show is another hit for The Road

Video: First Look At The Gay Men's Chorus Of Los Angeles Disney PRIDE In Concert

Pulitzer Prize nominee Tanya Barfield's brilliant BRIGHT HALF LIFE is smartly and artfully realized by director Amy K. Harmon at the Road Theatre on Magnolia. With just two actors, the energy never flags, but it does fluctuate, veering as it does from high comedy to pathos to heart-rending drama, sometimes all within the course of 30 seconds. It all adds up to another solid project from The Road Theatre, which consistently stages challenging and rewarding productions.

The show focuses on an interracial lesbian couple, Vicki (Kacie Rogers) and Erica (Tiffany Wolff), who meet at an office job in 1985. Vicki is the more regimented of the pair, while Erica is a freer spirit, which both brings them together and creates fissures in their relationship as the years go past, all the way up to 2031, encompassing all the most banal and yet the most meaningful facets of a life - kids, death, marriage, divorce, career.

The story is told in short bursts, the actors segueing from drama to comedy and back on a dime, plumbing emotional depths with complex characterizations and deft skill. Their comic timing is so precise, you'd think it would draw attention to itself, but it seems organic, like it hasn't been choreographed and rehearsed at all. Rogers and Wolff create a familiarity between their characters that makes their actions and misunderstandings and choices seem real, fragile, natural.

Video: First Look At The Gay Men's Chorus Of Los Angeles Disney PRIDE In Concert

Set design by Brian Graves is simple with a circle at center stage and two enormous squares, like enormous photo frames, at the back, which are used in many contexts and to great effect. The lighting by Derrick McDaniel and the sound by Marc Antonio Pritchett are critical in helping keep the audience on track with the story and the mood (especially considering there is no score), and both are on point throughout, guiding us through Vicki and Erica's tribulations.

Told in approximately 90 minutes with no set or costume changes, Wolff and Rogers never leave the stage. Barfield's insightful script moves at lightning speed with well-oiled execution, and for as time-shifting as the narrative is, it's surprisingly clear; there are no turns that throw the story off despite how sudden some of the transitions are. Hold on to your hats, because it's a roller coaster of emotions, and Harmon elicits fantastic performances from her riveting actors. Wolff has a stunning, romantic declaration at the end that punctuates the characters' decades-long romance, and it is magnificent, as is this show.

BRIGHT HALF LIFE is performed at The Road Theatre, 10747 Magnolia Boulevard, North Hollywood, through May 29. Tickets can be purchased by calling (818) 761-8838 or visiting

Photo credits: Elizabeth Kimball


Line-up of Comedians Revealed for Quentin Lee's LGBTQ+ Comedy Festival and Feature Film Special 'Laugh Proud'

Eight diverse LGBTQ+ comedians, including headliner Jason Stuart (memorable character actor & pioneer as one of the first openly gay comedians in the 90s), will star and perform in queer BIPOC creator Quentin Lee's LGBTQ+ comedy festival and feature film special 'Laugh Proud,' which will its world premiere live audience viewing and be shot on Saturday, July 1, 2023, at the historic Renberg Theatre at Los Angeles' LGBT Center. 

Immersive Van Gogh Returns to LA for Limited Showings

 Lighthouse Immersive has announced that the blockbuster Immersive Van Gogh exhibition is returning to Lighthouse ArtSpace Los Angeles (6400 Sunset Boulevard) for its final showings from June 1 – 11 before Immersive Disney Animation sees its L.A. premiere on June 23.

Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach Honors Pageant Legacy Society Donors

Recently, the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters organized an exclusive appreciation reception for members of the Pageant Legacy Society. More than 100 donors, whose names or the names of their loved ones are inscribed on seats in the Pageant’s Irvine Bowl, attended the event.

EBB & FLOW: CHINATOWN Will Be Performed by Heidi Duckler Dance This Month

Los Angeles-based performance company Heidi Duckler Dance (HDD) is excited to bring back their beloved Ebb & Flow: Chinatown community arts festival at the Los Angeles State Historic Park in Chinatown on Sunday, June 25 from 3-5pm.

From This Author - Harker Jones

Harker Jones has worked in publishing as a writer, editor, and critic for 15 years. He was managing editor of Out magazine for seven years and has written two novels (including the #1 Amazon... (read more about this author)


#repshow# in[i]# For the Love of a Glove: An Unauthorized Musical Fable About Michael Jackson As Told By His Glove
Carl Sagan And Ann Druyan Theater (5/05-6/17)Tracker PHOTOS VIDEOS
#repshow# in[i]# Gunhild Carling Big Band
Catalina Jazz Supper Club (6/14-6/14)Tracker VIDEOS
#repshow# in[i]# Celebration Theatre presents A New Brain
Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center (4/29-6/24)Tracker
#repshow# in[i]# The Allure of Thug Life
905 Cole Theater (6/03-6/23)
#repshow# in[i]# Thank You So Much For Coming
Broadwater Blackbox (6/03-6/23)
#repshow# in[i]# Kids & Teens Summer Camps
The Michelle Danner Acting Studio (6/19-8/25)PHOTOS
Coachella Valley Repertory (7/20-7/20)
#repshow# in[i]# Getting There!
Hudson Guild Theatre (6/02-6/24)
#repshow# in[i]# Look What Fell Out De Mango Tree
Santa Monica Playhouse (6/10-6/10)
#repshow# in[i]# A SCAR IS BORN
Stephanie Feury Studio theatre (6/08-6/11)

Recommended For You