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Smart People

by Pasadena Independent
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Two Professors, a Physics Genius, and a Stripper Walk Into a Play… What Could Go Wrong?

By Jennifer Schlueter

Two worlds clash when Albert Barry (Zac Lape), a 21-year-old genius and physics award winner, brings home his stripper-girlfriend Angel (Rivka Rivera) from Vegas where he attended a conference. Albert’s mother Elizabeth (Kathy Bell Denton) is shocked when he decides to delay his professorial position at Harvard for a road trip with his new flame. However, instead of taking off, the couple (along with Albert’s parents) finds themselves in a hostage drama which will change the family’s life.
Writer and director Mark Fink, who has contributed to “Full House,” “Perfect Strangers,” “Saved By the Bell” and numerous other Hollywood shows, has crafted an unpredictable dark comedy. All scenes could happen in our daily lives. If they did, hopefully they would be as funny as in the play, which includes jokes for the book-smart as well as the reality show audience.
Lape convinces as the innocent, genius son, charismatically but determinedly rebelling against his mother. Dan Woren plays Albert’s father David, who acts as the understanding, accommodating husband — the opposite of Denton — portraying the authoritarian character of Albert’s mother who tries but fails to control everyone’s lives. Rivera shows up with revealing outfits and persuades with a loud but hilarious mouth, which cannot even be stopped when her not-too-frightening but convincing troublemaker fiancé Ray (Jared Martzell) appears at the Barry’s home. Though his short performance, John Del Regno as “the Fixer” captures us with his wittiness and nonchalance.
If you enjoy dark humor, books, and (secretly) some reality TV, don’t miss this play with constant turns and laughter.
“Smart People” runs Saturdays through April 11. For tickets, contact the Whitefire Theater at (818) 990-9324 or visit whitefiretheatre.com.

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