Los Angeles Theater Review: THE TRIP BACK DOWN (Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks)

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by Tom Chaits on March 4, 2014

in Theater-Los Angeles

A SHORT TAKE ON A LONG TRIP

The cast of THE TRIP BACK DOWN.Sometimes critics get caught up in their own words and feel the need to expand upon their self-important ramblings beyond all reason.  They spew forth with so much falderal that their point is completely lost, and they simply end up beating a dead horse.  The same can be said for playwrights, as is the case with John Bishop’s The Trip Back Down, now getting a rare revival at the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks.  The tale of race car driver Bobby Horvath (Nick Stabile)–who returns to his Mansfield, Ohio home to rediscover himself–is driven into the ground by the repetitive nature of the exposition, nearly negating all that is good about the production.

Robb Derringer, Terasa Sciortino, Nick Stabile, Chad Anthony Miller, and Mike Mahaffey in THE TRIP BACK DOWN.

To prove I can be brief, here’s the bottom line.  The entire 15-member cast is terrific. Terri Hanauer’s direction is spot on.  The technical credits, especially Corwin Evans’ projections, are top drawer.  Everything that needed to be said was said in 90 minutes, at which point Mr. Bishop should have waived the checkered flag and crossed the finish line triumphant.  Instead he chose to put the pedal to the metal and keep rounding the track for 70 minutes longer, crashing all his good intentions and running out of gas.

Nick Stabile, Robb Derringer, Scott Roe, Chelese Belmont, and Chad Anthony Miller in THE TRIP BACK DOWN.

Considering all the aspects of the production that are firing on all cylinders there are certainly worse ways to spend an evening in the theater.  Just be prepared for over 2.5 hours of déjà vu.  As with NASCAR itself, The Trip Back Down is a lot of laps that gets you nowhere fast.

Meredith Thomas and Nick Stabile in THE TRIP BACK DOWN.photos by Ed Krieger

The Trip Back Down
presented by Bella Vita Entertainment
Whitefire Theatre
13500 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks
scheduled to end on March 29, 2014
for tickets, call (323) 960-7712
or visit www.plays411.com/trip

Nick Stabile, Lovlee Carroll, Chelese Belmont, and Robb Derringer in THE TRIP BACK DOWN. Nick Stabile, Robb Derringer, and Eve Danzeisen in THE TRIP BACK DOWN. Nick Stabile, Kevin Brief, and Larrs Jackson in THE TRIP BACK DOWN. Nick Stabile and Eve Danzeisen in THE TRIP BACK DOWN. Lily Nicksay, Eve Danzeisen, and Nick Stabile in THE TRIP BACK DOWN. Kevin Brief, Meredith Thomas, and Nick Stabile in THE TRIP BACK DOWN. Gregory G. Giles, Kevin Brief, Karl Ebergen, Nick Stabile, Larrs Jackson, and Chad Anthony Miller in THE TRIP BACK DOWN.

 

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