|A Comfortable Truth|
Also, Thomas, the Gordons's teenaged son (Zack Graham) is drawn in such a way as to eschew simplistic identification. Having been abused as a choir boy by Father Grant, Thomas is now attracted by punk and neo-Nazi heavy metal, music that expresses disgust with the conventional world. In a word, he's an unpleasant, rebellious and angry kid, yet it was he who blew the whistle on Father Grant and most deserves our understanding and compassion.
Another core character is Dr. Cunningham (Alan Blumenfeld), a hypnotherapist hired by the Church to try and deal with the Gordons's charges against Father Grant. He too is a flawed and compromised human being, prone to quackery, afraid to defy the church, yet conscientious and decent enough to feel horror and compassion for Grant's victims.
Used as a kind of altar-boy Greek chorus are Burkney Birgisson, Chris Blasman, Andrea Jajeh, Korbin James, Mirian Novak and Hunter Wood.
Juan Carlos Malpeli's multi-level set serves the play well, and Ryan Bourne, Jean Lee and Jordan Summers' lights, costumes & sound design, respectively, also help give A COMFORTABLE TRUTH its dark, moody atmosphere. Kemble, who directed his own work, has coaxed powerful, even unforgettable performances out of his actors (particularly Lieber and Mitchell).
A COMFORTABLE TRUTH runs 2 1/2 hours and could undoubtedly benefit from trimming and compression, but even in its somewhat raw, unfinished state this world premiere play still hits hard and unflinchingly. Let's hope the Catholic church will do something about the awful and shameful things Kemble has uncovered and dramatized so well.
At the Lee Strasberg Creative Center, 7936 Santa Monica Blvd, W. Hollywood through Feb 22.. Call (323) 650-777 or visit www.strasberg.com