The Book Club Play

6th Street Playhouse
Runs in Santa Rosa through September 15, 2019

The Book Club Play
John Browning, Heather Gibeson, Brittany Nicole Sims, Marc Assad, and Eyan Dean (on floor). Photo by Eric Chazankin.

This is one very funny play— aided by a group of excellent actors who know how to deliver comedy and are nicely suited for their roles, keeping the audience laughing throughout the two hours. 6th Street Playhouse scores big with their season opener in the newly named and refurbished Monroe Stage (formerly the Studio). Start your September theatre binge with a contemporary comic riff on identity, secrets, and truth— oh, and books, too.

Five very different people, old and new friends from college or work, band together to read books and discuss them— except now, leader of the club Ana (Maureen O’Neill) has agreed to allow famous documentarian Lars Knudsen to videotape the club’s meetings, as he supposedly wants to find out what goes on in these book clubs that have proliferated in recent decades. After Ana explains to her small group about the camera-in-a-box set up in the corner that is remotely operated, each one has a chance to introduce themselves on the video—Marc Assad plays Rob, Ana’s husband who is there mainly for the food; Will, played by John Browning, was in college with both Ana and Rob and is their refined, literate chum; Heather Gibeson as Jen, has been in the club forever it seems, but keenly lacks a mate; and then there’s Lily, played by Brittany Nicole Sims, Ana’s young and hip work colleague, who “earned” her place in the club partly because of her bubbly personality, and partly because Ana wanted to “diversify” the group for the video.

As we get to know these characters while they discuss Moby Dick over wine and snacks, it becomes clear that the camera is having an effect on the group, heightening their interactions and posing new challenges for amicable discussion. . . .

To continue reading about this production, see the full review at Sonoma County Gazette:
The Book Club Play