There is Wicked Affluence in Beverly Hills Written by Tasha Moore
One cozy theater venue in Beverly Hills warns of wealth’s woes. Larry Eisenberg directs and David Hunt Stafford produces Affluence at Theatre 40.
A play written by Chicagoan Steven Peterson, Affluence is the winner of the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild’s 2013 Julie Harris Playwriting Award.
Peterson has done an excellent job crafting a play about the mid-holiday malaise that plagues many an upper-middle-class home in America. You are invited to indulge in Peterson’s subtly sadistic recount of a hellish holiday phenomenon that takes place in 2010, on the heels of the Great Recession’s very worst.
Introducing the Woodley family, whose funny money evokes wicked greed and treachery among its members. Robert Woodley, Jr. (Lloyd Pedersen) is the humble patriarch that endures emotional as well as physical abuse at the hands of his highly domineering wife Jean Woodley (Rhonda Lord). Jean has been accused of swiping pain medication, and the aging couple is at odds over Jean’s pricey legal problems and the mounting publicity that suffocates her predicament. But it does not take long to discover that Robert’s ailing mother Namoo’s (Nan Tepper) imminent death is the main focus of the couple’s obsession over money.
Mr. Peterson weaves up a neat mess of circumstances for his choice group of upper crusters that involves muted yuletide cheer, mounds of wrapping paper on the living room floor, piles of overpriced merchandise—and murder? Included in the group is Barbara (Ilona Kulinska), aka Beanie, the clever college-aged daughter, and Arthird (Justin Huff), aka Robert III, supreme doofus and heir to the Woodley family’s future fortune, which hangs in the balance. Continue Reading...
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