×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Home Fire

The story deals with the family's older son, Italian stallion Rocco (John Gallucci), who is caught committing one of his many infidelities by his wife Rita (Barbara Goodson) and kids (Molly Jackson, Robert Della Cerra).

With:
Rocco ... John Gallucci Teresa ... Mary VanArsdel Andrea ... Molly Jackson Rita ... Barbara Goodson Bobby ... Robert Della Cerra Danny ... James DiStefano Laura ... Mary VanArsdel Mary ... Vera Lockwood Sal ... Gary Michaels Pauline ... Ivy Bethune Joe ... Mike Perrotta Marion Gallo's "Home Fire," in its world preem at Theater West, centers around an Italian family get-together. Though it's touted in publicity as "an insane Christmas comedy," the humor seemed elusive; the dark premise shows promise, but in the end, the only thing insane about the show is believing that people would find it entertaining.

The story deals with the family’s older son, Italian stallion Rocco (John Gallucci), who is caught committing one of his many infidelities by his wife Rita (Barbara Goodson) and kids (Molly Jackson, Robert Della Cerra).

Since it is Christmas Eve, he pulls himself together and takes the family over to Mama Mary’s (Vera Lockwood) for a clan gathering.

As the festivities progress, the group of Mama, Dad (Gary Michaels) and geriatric Uncle Joe and Aunt Pauline (Mike Perrotta and Ivy Bethune) are joined by younger son and parental favorite, the ex-alcoholic Danny (James DiStefano) and his “outsider” wife Laura (Mary VanArsdel).

Soon all hell breaks loose, with old wounds being ripped open between the brothers.

Playwright/director Gallo’s pacing, both on the page and on the stage, leave much to be desired. The script’s dramatic arcs are sporadic and lack follow-through.

On a positive note, Goodson shows the flash of Italian passion in a fiery performance as the wronged wife. DiStefano and VanArsdel evoke genuine empathy as they try to get through the affair, with DiStefano’s adroit, underplayed timing masterfully bringing the play’s only comedy to the fore.

The cast performs solidly, but Lockwood’s and Bethune’s characters come off as caricatures.

Bradley Kaye’s set and Lawrence Oberman’s lights sufficiently fill the bill. But in the end, the evening consists of little more than blame being shouted redundantly at each other until the audience wonders if even denial will hold this lot together.

Home Fire

(Theatre West, Los Angeles; 180 seats; $ 15 top)

Production: Theatre West and Good Dog Prods. present a dramatic comedy in two acts by Marion Gallo; director, Gallo.

Creative: Lights, Lawrence Oberman; set, Bradley Kaye; costumes, Bill Whitten, Pam Baczuk; sound, Clive Mizumoto, Greg Pusateri. Opened Dec. 2, 1994; reviewed Dec. 9; runs through Jan. 15.

Cast: Rocco ... John Gallucci Teresa ... Mary VanArsdel Andrea ... Molly Jackson Rita ... Barbara Goodson Bobby ... Robert Della Cerra Danny ... James DiStefano Laura ... Mary VanArsdel Mary ... Vera Lockwood Sal ... Gary Michaels Pauline ... Ivy Bethune Joe ... Mike Perrotta Marion Gallo's "Home Fire," in its world preem at Theater West, centers around an Italian family get-together. Though it's touted in publicity as "an insane Christmas comedy," the humor seemed elusive; the dark premise shows promise, but in the end, the only thing insane about the show is believing that people would find it entertaining.

More Legit

  • Playwright Mark Medoff author of "Children

    Mark Medoff, 'Children of a Lesser God' Playwright, Dies at 79

    Mark Medoff, the playwright who wrote Tony Award-winning play “Children of a Lesser God,” died Tuesday in Las Cruces, N.M. He was 79. His daughter Jessica Medoff Bunchman posted news of his death on Facebook, and the Las Cruces Sun-News attributed the cause to cancer. “Children of a Lesser God” starred John Rubinstein and Phyllis Frelich [...]

  • Ink review

    Broadway Review: 'Ink' With Jonny Lee Miller

    Garish, lurid and brash, “Ink,” the British import now on Broadway in a Manhattan Theatre Club production, is the theatrical equivalent of its subject, the UK’s Daily Sun — the newspaper that reshaped British journalism and propelled Rupert Murdoch’s ascent to media mogul. Like the tabloid, it feels unsubstantial, rushed and icky. You can’t say [...]

  • All My Sons review

    London Theater Review: 'All My Sons' With Sally Field, Bill Pullman

    If “All My Sons” is showing its age, it sure shows no signs of abating. Just days after a major revival opened on Broadway, moving Annette Bening and Tracy Letts into the Tony zone, up the play pops in London. The Old Vic has arguably secured the starrier cast, too: Bill Pullman and Sally Field [...]

  • Tootsie review

    Broadway Review: 'Tootsie'

    The new Broadway adaptation of “Tootsie” is old-fashioned and proud of it — and it’s a surefire crowd-pleaser, in this musical spin on the 1982 film comedy with Santino Fontana in the Dustin Hoffman role. Robert Horn (book) and Tony-winner David Yazbek (score) have a high old time poking fun at theatrical rituals — the [...]

  • Kelli O'Hara

    Listen: How Kelli O'Hara Brings #MeToo to 'Kiss Me, Kate'

    “Kiss Me, Kate” is one of the best-known titles in musical theater. But in this day and age, the “Taming of the Shrew”-inspired comedy’s depiction of the gender dynamic seems downright, well, problematic. Listen to this week’s podcast below: Kelli O’Hara is well aware of that, and so were her collaborators on the Roundabout Theatre [...]

  • All My Sons review

    Broadway Review: 'All My Sons' With Annette Bening

    Don’t be fooled by the placid backyard setting, neighborly small talk and father-son joviality at the start of the Roundabout Theatre Company’s blistering revival of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” starring Annette Bening and Tracy Letts. There are plenty of secrets, resentments and disillusionments ahead, poised to rip this sunny Middle Americana facade to shreds. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content