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Theater Review: "Between Us Chickens" Offers Laughs And Insight

Tess Goodwin |
May 24, 2011 | 1:29 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Written by Sofia Alvarez on the brink of graduation from The Juilliard School in New York, Between Us Chickens is a story of two small town girls that move to Los Angeles in pursuit of the American Dream. Everything changes in this dark comedy when Megan, the party girl, allows Charles, a strange but charming man, to move into she and Sarah’s apartment. 

Between Us Chickens, directed by Casey Stangl, is running at the charming and unique Atwater Village Theater on weekends until June 19. Stangl has directed in over ten theaters across the nation and was the founding artistic director of Eye of the Storm Theater in Minneapolis.

The characters in the play are over-the-top and extreme in personality but that only adds to the play’s deeper exploration of issues of self-exploration, using people, Los Angeles, money, and the role of the internet in postmodern society. Although the play explores these issues and things end up quite serious, Charles, played by Ben Huber, never ceases to make the audience chuckle with his blatantly honest opinions and ridiculous propositions. 

Megan and Sarah played by Amelia Alvarez and Annabelle Borke, respectively, have been friends since middle school but they begin to grow apart when they move to Los Angeles and Megan begins to go out to bars every night while Sarah prefers to play internet poker. In the beginning of the play, Borke outshines Alvarez in believability but as the play moves along Alvarez proves herself a worthy adversary and their tension fills the room.

Set in Los Angeles, a city of dreams and mystery, Between Us Chickens depends on the city as a setting for what becomes a convoluted love triangle. Charles promises to show Sarah his love as well as the city in exchange for a place to stay but can’t help himself from sleeping with Megan while Sarah’s back is turned. 

“I’m interested in the ways people treat other people. Sometimes people will treat one another badly, not necessarily because they are trying to be mean. I’m playing around with that idea, the ways we use people in our lives and don’t even know we are doing it,” Alvarez told Juilliard magazine.

The play is morally ambiguous and thus offers an interesting perspective on money, security, and sex. It explores these issues on both sides but offers no solution. The viewer is left with what feels like only one possible ending and cannot help but think “what if” things went another way.

Between Us Chickens will be playing at the Atwater Village Theater from May 20 through June 19, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2 pm. Free parking onsite and discounted tickets for students.

Reach Tess here



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