Regional Reviews: Los Angeles
The Little FoxesAntaeus Theatre Company
In the deep South of 1900, the Hubbard family is financially doing well, but they are determined to do better at any cost. Ben (Mike McShane) and Oscar (Rob Nagle) have set up a deal with a Northern businessman that will make them rich, but they need to put up a certain amount of money first. The deal won't work unless their sister Regina (Deborah Puette) provides her third of the money, which needs to come from her estranged husband Horace (John DeMita). Unfortunately, Horace wants nothing to do with any of this arrangement, and says no. He has no idea how far Regina will go to get what she wants.
Puette, one of the best actresses in Los Angeles theatre, gets the maximum value from every sharp line as the sociopathic Regina, exuding an implacable self-confidence even as the character has to quickly adjust to changing circumstances. McShane ably reveals the monster beneath the seemingly reasonable Ben, and Nagle excels as the manipulative Oscar. Jocelyn Towne is excellent as the febrile Birdie, a storm of nervous energy that has no place to go. Finally, DeMita is a revelation as Horace, bringing fury and empathy to the role in what is the best performance I've seen yet from this actor.
Director Cameron Watson gets stellar performances across the board from his cast and paces the show with skill. John Iacovelli's set is a marvel, an exquisitely detailed living room filled with what seem to be actual antiques, adding enormously to the show.
Hellman's dialogue, characters and plot still can't be beat and are extremely enjoyable, but it's her message about the conscienceless people who were attempting to take control that still resonates today. As Ben says to Regina, "The world's open for people like you and me. There's thousands of us all over the world. We'll own the country some day."
For those who want to see a top-notch production of a genuine classic, The Little Foxes is a must see.
The Little Foxes, through December 10, 2018, plays at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Broadway, Glendale CA. Tickets and information are available at www.Antaeus.org.
Directed by Cameron Watson. Lighting Designer, Jared A. Sayeg; Scenic Designer, John Iacovelli; Sound Designer, Jeff Gardner; Costume Designer, Terri A. Lewis.