Vol. 16, No. 24 – Aug 23 – Sept 5, 2023 – A View from House Seats

by Shirley Lorraine

Enjoy the Glamour of The Golden Age

Annually, the Fractured Actors Theater Company presents an underground evening of theater and music. Situated in a black box Theater at Liminal Church on Palma Drive, Fractured Actors brings to life Sweet Jay’s Speakeasy, located in an inauspicious warehouse in Ventura. Each year brings a new theme, a new look and a thoroughly fun evening.

This year, the Company presents The Golden Age, a Speakeasy Project, a glimpse back to the glamour of the silver screen and Tinseltown of old. As noted in the dialogue, it is a “celebration of celluloid.” The theater is subdued in black and red décor with dimmed lighting. Libations are available to add to the atmosphere.

The very talented Ham family leads the action with writing, directing, producing, staging, performing and encouraging participation. The one-acts are written just for each production to fit with the theme. All of the actors, many of them familiar faces from last summer’s presentation of a foray into the mysterious Area 51, fully immerse themselves in the folly of this year’s offering with some eye-catching costuming and creative staging.

The event’s hosts, Anthony Elias Contreras and Cassie Kelso-Bucey, lead the action with clever banter, jokes and quick pacing. Appearing throughout, their charming, easy manner keeps the action moving and the laughs coming.

Employing minimal set pieces, the stage is easily reset for each of the four short plays, all of which take a tongue-in-cheek approach to what could have been issues of the day in the film business. Actors take on multiple roles throughout, reappearing in new personas. Interspersed with the plays are sultry singers keeping the audience fully in the era. Everyone seems to be having a wonderful time and their enthusiasm easily blankets the audience.

Each of the plays addresses a different aspect of what may have or could have taken place in the Golden Era. Each features opportunities to explore what-ifs and what-could-have-beens. It’s a fun ride of possible alternative endings.

From silent movies to telephone operators to “the town’s most awkward welcoming committee” with a sweet ending to put a bow on the evening, Fractured Actors brings a unique theatrical experience every summer. So dust off your Fedora, get out the pearls and boas and enjoy an evening of song, film and immersive original one-act plays. Catch this one if you can. If you’ve never been, go, then mark your calendar to watch for next summer’s offering.

Sweet Jay’s offers a limited opportunity to catch these engaging evenings. Performances continue August 25-27 and September 1 & 2. Fridays and Saturdays curtain is 8 p.m., Sundays at 5 pm. There is one extra matinee performance at 2 p.m. on September 2. Space is limited so reservations are a must. Most suitable for adults.

f[email protected] for additional information.

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