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Review: 'The Aftermath' at Fiesta Hall

May 7, 2009 |  1:00 pm

The Aftermath Theatrically speaking, Fiesta Hall in West Hollywood’s Plummer Park is an unforgiving space, more auditorium than theater, with spine-numbing folding chairs and glaring lighting fixtures that are a poor substitute for professional-grade equipment.

Put preconceptions about the venue aside, however, and you may well be dazzled by the polished professionalism of “The Aftermath,” the Bare Bones Theatre’s production of “The Trojan Women” and “Agamemnon” in two acts.

Tony-nominated adaptor/director Tony Tanner has spent a lifetime in the theatrical trenches, and the wealth of that experience is evident throughout this crisply executed, well-articulated production. Tanner has tapped several sources, from Euripides to Shakespeare, for his inspiration. The outcome is a cogent, contemporary, thoroughly timely recapitulation that focuses specifically on the ravaging consequences of the Trojan War and its continuing human toll.

Tanner wisely eases around the physical limitations of the site and concentrates on the piece’s emotional content. Well able to accommodate Tanner in every particular are his crack actors, who get to the true grit of their familiar archetypes with a straightforwardness that is exhilarating. Sara Shearer’s Hecuba is effectively downplayed, so psychically benumbed she is beyond tears. And Anita Adcock’s lawyer-like Athena is both divinity and bloodless functionary, doling out destiny as if she were ticking off appointments on a court calendar.

-- F. Kathleen Foley

The Aftermath,” Fiesta Hall, 1200 N. Vista St., West Hollywood. 7 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Ends May 16. $20. (323) 461-5570. Running time: 2 hours, 15 minutes.

Caption: From left: Annunziata Gianzero, Elise Ashton and Sara Shearer in "The Aftermath." Credit: Mark WIlkins