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Review: A smart, funny 'Everything Is Enough' at Open Fist Theatre

July 25, 2012|By Charlotte Stoudt
  • Jamison Jones, left, Danielle Soibelman and Beth Robbins in 'Everything Is Enough' at the Open Fist Theatre Company.
Jamison Jones, left, Danielle Soibelman and Beth Robbins in 'Everything… (Ehrin Marlow )

I hope Jamison Jones has enough Altoids. As Dennis, the walking midlife crisis in Elizabeth Berger’s “Everything Is Enough,” Jones gets to kiss a lot of attractive women. And somehow, it’s those women you’d like to know more about in this smart and sweetly poignant comedy, part of Open Fist’s First Look Festival.

Fortysomething patent lawyer Dennis has a faithful wife (Yvonne Woods) and a brainy daughter (Jessica Noboa) in college. But when his impossible sister (Beth Robbins) arrives, trailing her adopted daughter (Danielle Soibelman) who has suddenly stopped speaking, Dennis goes off the rails.

He makes an unfortunate decision to make a pass at a shop girl (Jennifer Schoch), who happens to be the daughter of his boss (Challen Cates). And then there’s his daughter’s fetching roommate (Katie Costick).

Berger keenly dissects the restless desire not to be stuck with the people you have to love — family, of course, but also oneself. (The droll Robbins trails Dennis like a suburban Grand Inquisitor, gleefully reminding him of every wound suffered and dealt in their childhoods.)

Despite its wit, “Everything” has a curiously circular feel, and Berger seems to be writing around the play’s true subject, which might be the dissatisfaction of women, not Dennis.

Still, it’s a lot of fun to watch this crew make themselves very unhappy. Berger has a sharp new voice worth listening to.

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“Everything is Enough” Open Fist Theatre, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. See website for performance schedule. Ends Aug. 12. $20. Contact: (323) 882-6912 or www.openfist.org Running time: 2 hours.

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