THE GRAND IRRATIONALITY: 60% – BITTERSWEET

“The Grand Irrationality” at the Lost Studio. Credit: Dima Otvertchenko.

BITTER
Kennedy’s characters may talk about big ideas and make many sales pitches, but it’s unlikely that audiences will be sold on “The Grand Irrationality.”
Katherine Davis – Backstage

SWEET
Is this play funny? Yes. Will Kennedy’s outlet for revenge stand the test of time and become a classic for the ages? Probably not. Is it worth seeing anyway? Most definitely.
Ella Pravetz – Daily Bruin

SWEET
Director John Pleshette and his gifted cast do their best by The Grand Irrationality; pacing and performances are spot-on for this comedy of (bad) manners. The play runs a tad long and consequently loses some of its power, but the laughs keep coming nonetheless.
Willard Manus – Total Theater

BITTERSWEET
While this production is flawed, Kennedy’s play is worth seeing.
Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

BITTER
John Pleshette can be credited for assembling and directing a capable cast — Marcel, with his Buster Keaton eyes, is refreshingly droll — but there are enough dramatic pauses here to drive through a dozen Ibsen plays. And this may be the first production in which the actors spend as much time moving the furniture between scenes as they do talking to each other.
Robert Hofler – Variety

SWEET
While the production might benefit at times from a bit more energy and staging efficiency, the work offers audiences exacting performances, sharp aesthetics, and natural direction.
Mia Bonadonna – LASplash

BITTERSWEET
An array of themes populates Jemma Kennedy’s world premiere script. Together, those themes might send a nicely existential message about taking responsibility for oneself. The production, however, suffers from an unimaginative mounting.
Dany Margolies – ArtsInLA

BITTERSWEET
In fact, it’s left to Gregory Marcel, as the ambitious, yet boyish Guy, to capture just the perfect sense of a complex character – both desperate to succeed and vulnerable, both loyal and emotionally impulsive. His performance often appears to knit the contradictory aspects of a role that intentionally seems fuzzy around the edges. It’s a turn that nicely captures the ambiguity that, for much of the rest of the play, merely comes across as muddled.
Paul Birchall – Stage and Cinema

BITTER
An epic ambition, but unfortunately Jemma Kennedy’s smart British satire, much like its protagonist, can’t quite find itself.
Charlotte Stoudt – LA Times

SWEET
But after a full evening of watching buffoonish characters in Boeing-Boeing, theatergoers might look forward to spending more leisurely-paced time with the more developed, conflicted, contemporary characters in The Grand Irrationality.
Don Shirley – LA Stage Times

SWEET
Nonetheless, Gregory Marcel makes us care about the moral evolution of adman Guy Proud. He and the others guide us through the winding roads of their affections with wonderful clarity.
Jon Magaril – CurtainUp

BITTERSWEET
The least rational aspect of this world premiere of playwright Jemma Kennedy’s inoffensive Britcom may be in the puzzling disconnect between director John Pleshette’s fine facility in eliciting well-etched performances and the self-defeating cumbersomeness of his staging.
Bill Raden – LA Weekly

BITTER
A sound one never wants to hear when presenting a new show is the lonely clatter of one person starting to clap at the end of a scene and awkwardly stopping upon realizing nobody else is joining in. The sound is worse if that routine occurs more than once, every repetition driving home the realization that they could clap, but they’re choosing not to. Unfortunately, that sound was frequently heard at The Lost Studio’s new production of Jemma Kennedy’s The Grand Irrationality, a play where good actors make the best of an uneven script and suffer through a surfeit of set changes so ponderous they sink the show.
Terry Morgan – LAist

SWEET
As such, it’s telling and amusing, but her tone (not solved by director John Pleshette) is uneven – satire, farce, mental illness problems, parenting skills, and so on. Still, her play remains compelling, right up to its feel-good ending.
Dale Reynolds – Stagehappenings

THE GRAND IRRATIONALITY
Presented by and at the Lost Studio
130 S. La Brea Ave.
Jan. 11–March 3, 2013
Tickets: $25; (323) 960-4443
Running time: 2 hours (with intermission)

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