In this new play by Elin Hampton, The Bells of West 87th offers a cast of characters that guarantees an evening of laughter. The story centers on building manager and amateur poet Molly Fein (Cameron Meyer) who introduces her dysfunctional family to her night-school boyfriend, portrayed by James Marsters, known for his work on Buffy, Angel, Torchwood, and Smallville. As the evening unfolds, secrets unravel - laughter ensues - and to Molly's surprise her boyfriend appears to be mostly unfazed.
Meyer as Molly Fein provides a strong performance, especially when she breaks out into moments of humorous poetic inspiration, allowing Molly's inner thoughts to shine when she feels suffocated. Molly is running the family business and must contend with her separated parents living next door to each other, including an elaborate set of bells in her father's apartment to mediate the situation. To make matters worse, Molly grew up in the shadow of her seemingly perfect sister (Dagney Kerr) who arrives unexpectedlyto bring her own share of familial dysfunction to the tale.
Marsters is utterly charming and convincing in his role as the supportive boyfriend, manager of a mini golf business, and inspired Fein Family cheerleader. His interactions with Molly's overbearing and hilarious mother (Carol Locatell) and eccentric magic-loving father (Robert Towers), as well as his on-stage chemistry with Meyer, are sure to evoke smiles and laughter.
The Bells of West 87th suggest to us that perhaps that we should spend more time laughing at life's oddities than being overwhelmed by their details.
The Bells of West 87th is currently at the Greenway Court Theatre, running Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until October 13th. For more information, visit ExperienceLA.com.
-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Editor