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THEATER BEAT

'August Snow' a Slice of Quirky Realism

April 30, 1993

"August Snow," a pre-World War II domestic drama at West Coast Ensemble, is basically August Wilson for white folks--a well-written slice of kitchen-sink realism, with a few interesting quirks in an otherwise too tidy script. A young husband (Stacey Evans) is given an ultimatum by his uptight wife (Kristi Ross): stop drinking and carousing or else. He has until sundown that night to shape up or ship out.

The problem isn't veteran novelist Reynolds Price's writing, nor Richard Large's able if tame direction. It's that it takes a seasoned cast to pull off this kind of interior drama, and this troupe is wet behind the ears. Although respectable performances are given by Kerry Haynie as the husband's best buddy and Judy Kerr as the husband's mother, they can't make up for the two sinkholes in the leads.

* "August Snow," West Coast Ensemble, 6240 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Fridays-Saturdays, 8 p.m., Sundays, 3 p.m. Ends June 13. $15. (213) 871-1052. Running time: 2 hours.

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