The most exciting thing about being alive is that you never know what’s going to happen next. One day everything seems to be working on your behalf, following ‘the plan’ that you set forth some time ago.
Then in a blink of an eye, your life flip-flops and the thought flashes through you mind–what have I done to deserve this?”
Just when you settle down for a pity-party, your past sneaks in, and you say . . . oooh. And so it is with Doug and Deanna Piper in the thought-provoking stage play “Something Happened.”
Written and directed by L. Trey Wilson, “Something Happened” is one of those plays that connects with everyone on some level. The cleverly, well-written script and excellent staging, take us into the world of a very successful, upwardly mobile couple, concerned about what the neighbors think, their station in life . . . you know the type.
One night after returning home from a dinner with their neighbors, they happen upon a sight which changes their lives forever. The question then becomes how would they handle the crisis and how can it be fixed. Worst yet, it concerns their 17-year-old son Donovan, and what could be more frightening than teenage angst?
And that’s where the audience meets the couple, standing outside their front door trying to figure out what to do next.
Because the dialogue is addressed to the audience, they become part of the action.
Deanna Piper, played by Mashari Laila Bain, is willing to share her thoughts with the audience, but Doug Piper, played by William Christian, is rather reluctant. Deanna persists, and not only does the audience get caught up in her direct approach, but Doug chimes in and almost takes over.
Their characterizations are so rich, smooth, effortless and believable that you find yourself caught up in the play, almost to the point that you want to yell at their son Donovan, played by Eric B. Anthony, “get your ass back down here; don’t you hear your mother speaking to you?”
As the situation builds, we meet the other players: Tom and Hosanna Brennan, played by Jeorge Watson and Lisa Canning, are, to put it bluntly a loveless couple, but that’s the choice they made, because they determined that other things are more important.
But a conversation with Hosanna causes Deanna to look back at her own life, and then into the mirror.
We also meet Raymond Taylor, played by Rob Nelson. Raymond really prefers to be called Rashid, and is Donovan’s friend, who lives next door. Now their friendship is in jeopardy, because of the choices they have made and are about to make.
And finally there are Raymond/Rashid’s parents, played by Christopher Guyton and Fuschia! who are clearly the most boisterous and down-to-earth couple of the group, and apparently, the most fun loving.
It is said that love conquers all; now these families have to test that theory. Something happened that night which caused a father to delve into his past and caused a mother to rationalize her son’s behavior, as well as that of her husbands’. It also drove her to look in the mirror, and question herself.
One family will stand, and another will break under the pressure. It’s all about the choices we make in life, sometimes they come back to haunt us, and then there are consequences to pay.
L. Trey Wilson is an award-winning playwright and director, and “Something Happened” is an important work that will entertain as well as stir your soul.
“Something Happened” is playing at Pacific Stages #170, in El Segundo from now through May 16 on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. For ticket information, call (310) 868-2631. Pacific Stages is located at 2041 Rosecrans Ave., El Segundo.
Gail can be reached at gail@hollywoodbychoice.com.