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Theater review: 'Caught' at the Zephyr Theatre

December 9, 2010 |  3:00 pm

Caught a 

In the midst of all the fussy preparations Kenneth (Corey Brill) and Troy (Will Beinbrink) are making for their upcoming nuptials, Darlene (Deborah Puette), Kenneth's sister, arrives with her small-town prejudices and wild-card daughter, Krystal (Amanda Kaschak), in tow. Family members, start your dysfunction.
"Caught," a new play by David L. Ray now at the Zephyr Theatre, gets its comic spark from the familiar spectacle of a culture clash. There's not much new in this drama, directed with polish by Nick DeGruccio. It's a genial, same-sex marriage soap opera that wears its good intentions on its sleeve. The story is pat and the stereotypes fly free, but Ray daubs his characters here and there with real color. 

Darlene may have walked out on her philandering fundamentalist preacher husband (Richard Jenik), but don't think she's as willing as Krystal to turn a new leaf in open-minded Southern California. Old bigoted habits die hard, but wisecracking Splenda (Micah McCain) is on hand to preach the gay gospel. He's just been ordained on the Internet so he can marry Kenneth and Troy, and when Darlene's hypocritical, Bible-thumping worse-half turns up to retrieve her, a battle of the scriptures breaks out.

Caught c The action takes place in Kenneth's and Troy's picture-perfect L.A. love nest (Adam Flemming's set looks like it was ordered direct from Pottery Barn). Like all fantasy couples, they're blissfully happy. Yet there is a follicle noticeably out of place: Kenneth isn't completely comfortable owning his sexuality in public. He shrinks around intolerance, but this sibling visit forces him to confront his cowardly conformist streak and rid his relationship of its only apparently flaw.

Television-style resolutions evaporate from memory almost instantly, but their ease can be satisfying in a harmless, diversionary, make-believe way.

-- Charles McNulty
“Caught,” Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. (Call for exceptions.) Ends Jan. 23. $25. or (800) 595-4849. Running time: 2 hours, 15 minutes.

Upper photo: Micah McCain, Will Beinbrink, Corey Brill. Credit: Michael Lamont

Lower photo: Deborah Puette. Credit: Michael Lamont