Have you ever been to a play that doubled as a rock concert?
The Lonely Few, now playing at the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse gives off the feel you have entered a southern juke joint filled with small-town heroes with big-city dreams.
Tony-winner Lauren Patten plays the main character Lila, a talented singer-songwriter-guitarist in a small Kentucky town. She is a complex character who works in a discount grocery store with her friend Dylan (Damon Daunno) who is dreading becoming a first-time father. There she dreams of a music career while missing the presence of her mother and the weight of caring for her wayward brother Adam (Joshua Close) who is known for tossing back “one too many” while suffering the effects of the loss of their mother.
Lila and Dylan are both members of The Lonely Few, a band that consists of Dylan, on bass, keyboardist JJ (Helen J Shen), and drummer/bar owner Paul (Thomas Silcott). Lila is the lead singer.
Lila is also struggling with her sexuality, and her dreams of making it out of Kentucky, while feeling “stuck” having to look after her brother.
By chance, Paul’s former step-daughter Amy (Ciara Renée) glides into town and after hearing the band and Lila’s mesmerizing voice, she quickly offers the band an opportunity to go on tour with her for the last three weeks which will end in Nashville.
After embarking on tour Lila and Amy experience a magnetic attraction that is undeniable. Amy continues to struggle with playing second fiddle to men and overcoming the challenges of her sexuality as she is not always warmly accepted in some venues.
The song choices are amazing and Lila and Amy’s voices blend perfectly together. I love how the show didn’t feel like a play and incorporated the audience and too many times I was tempted to visit the bar unaware is was part of the stage.
The actor’s use of the entire room kept the audience engaged as if we were attending a concert which was refreshing.
I was tapping my toes throughout the performances and found myself misty-eyed as Lila and Amy found their way to each other. It was a very touching story and highly recommended for all to see.
The Lonely Few, has been extended through April 30. April 26 has been designated as Queer Appreciation Night. The show plays Tuesday through Sunday in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave. in Westwood. Tickets are $49-$149 and can be purchased here. Rush tickets for each day’s performance are made available to the general public one hour before showtime at the box office for $35.
Running time: 2 hours, 20 minutes (with one intermission) so be sure and patronize the bar located inside the lobby!
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist for 2UrbanGirls.com and contributing writer for the Los Angeles Wave newspaper.