A charismatic L.A. mayor appears to be riding an unstoppable populist wave to the governor's mansion -- but his victory celebration may be premature. Amid the campaign’s down-to-the-wire twists and turns, nothing can be taken for granted except human fallibility in Chuck Rose's new drama, "Bedfellows" (as in "politics makes strange…").
The fine line between personal ambition and the public good -- and the resulting ethical dilemmas -- are hardly uncharted thematic territories, but they speak with particular relevance to a polarized electoral climate in Jack Stehlin's impassioned staging for his New American Theatre company.
Anchoring the production as crusading liberal mayor Sanford "Sandy" Mitchell, Thomas Vincent Kelly radiates the kind of sincerity, intelligence and charm that recalls the Kennedy mystique. His story is inspirational: After abandoning his career as a Wall Street investment broker following an epiphany of conscience, the self-made Mitchell returned to his humble L.A. roots and rose to prominence as a champion of affordable housing and other humanitarian causes, earning the unswerving loyalty of legions, including his longtime chief of staff (Robert Cicchini), campaign manager (Marc Jablon), discarded former lover (Marie-Françoise Theodore), and even a supposedly unbiased journalist blogger (Cameron Meyer). Mitchell’s personal integrity seems just as pure, despite the tempting advances of an infatuated volunteer (Jade Sealey).