Theater review: 'Group: A Musical' at Powerhouse Theatre
Freud meets GarageBand in “Group: A Musical,” Adam Emperor Southard’s appealing if unfinished experiment now at the Powerhouse Theatre in Santa Monica. A cardiganed therapist teaching at a nameless mediocre college, Dr. Allen (Isaac Wade) reinvents group therapy for the “American Idol” age: Participants sing their pain instead of speak it, with the help of a discreet band parked near the coffee and doughnuts.
The patients are a motley crew: Chris (Evan Wall) is closeted but dating a sex addict, while the dorky small talk of Paul (Michael Hanson) sends girls screaming for the hills. Sweet-faced Meg (Caroline Sharp) has dragged in snarky husband Phillip (Trevor Algatt), who immediately flirts with pierced dominatrix Julia (Melissa Collins). Quiet Liz (Brooke Baldwin) seems so levelheaded she’s got to be hiding a catastrophe.
— Charlotte Stoudt
“Group: A Musical,” Powerhouse Theatre, 3116 2nd St., Santa Monica. 8 p.m. Thurdays through Saturdays. Ends Jan 29. $15. Contact: www.latensemble.org Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes.
Photo: Rear, Trevor Algatt; left to right, Caroline Sharp, Melissa Collins, Brooke Baldwin. Credit: Jeremy Roush.