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LA Theater Review
The Good Boy
He tells us how his loving mother offered support as he strove to understand his irascible, emotionally reserved father while simultaneously trying to earn his love and respect. The family must weather the father's successful battle with cancer and the death of a cherished sister in an auto crash. One of the most poignant episodes deals with the family's visit to a mortuary to select a coffin for the sister. But though many of the issues dealt with—including death and disease—are grim, the piece is never depressing. It's informed throughout by the love and affection that bind the family together.
Bonnabel delivers a couple of songs, a slideshow of family pictures, and plenty of comedy, but he's dealing with matters close to his heart, and his emotions are close to the surface, welling up, seemingly unbidden, to inform his story. And he has an unerring sense of the sounds of the deaf, the few words they have learned without having ever heard them spoken, and the inarticulate sounds they resort to when words fail them. These become vital ingredients in his vivid characterization of his parents. His gallery of characters is small, but they are richly realized.
Presented by and at the Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., L.A. Aug. 27–Sept. 19. Thu.–Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. (213) 389-3856. www.bootlegtheater.org.
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