Healing Emotional Wounds… in “Damaged Furniture.”

A play as well performed and profoundly written as Howard Skora’s newest, “Damaged Furniture,” deserves the highest of accolades. Rarely have I seen a family ‘dramedy’ with characters this sharp or dialogue this funny. As a story of humans coming together, with emotions still raw, after losing their beloved patriarch of the family, “king” of the furniture business, this show is a true winner. The play centers on a dysfunctional family coming to terms with love, loss, loyalty and deception. Mo Collins plays a new widow, (Laurie), coming to terms with her late husband’s bizarre fetish with furniture, especially of the recliner persuasion. Her physical humor and monologues are definite standouts. Alex Skuby, as the tormented son and nephew, (Doug), is excellent as he contemplates onstage the pros and cons of being back in New York with his family or in Los Angeles as a budding character action figure actor. Jessica Pohly so credibly portrays the sister (Gina), a therapist trying earnestly to heal her inner child along with understanding her family members. Yet, she is so insecure and unsure herself, she can’t help but lash out at everyone else. Peggy Maltby Etra is the mother, (Irene), determined to keep the peace at all costs, relentlessly pushing her son’s and daughter’s buttons. Robert Mangiardi is the father, (Phil), stricken with cancer and seemingly in the shadow of death, yet defying every moment with his beloved booze. All actors in this ensemble are so convincing in their roles, and the dialogue contains gems of wisdom, such as “wounds may heal, but they have ugly souvenirs of emotional trauma,” and “shame is the only shame in life.” The play deals with real life, relevant issues of disease, death, and denial, without dancing around the issues but truly delving within.

Through May 26th
Saturdays 8 pm
Whitefire Theatre
13500 Ventura Blvd
818 9902324


About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at www.examiner.com and www.tolucantimes.com my email is bonniedeb13@hotmail.com
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