Theater Review: ARROWHEAD (IAMA Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre)

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by Tony Frankel on March 1, 2024

in Theater-Los Angeles


Move over, Bluefish Cove, you’ve had your last summer. Now, a modern-day retreat of lesbians is here, only this one isn’t by the ocean, it’s by a lake. Arrowhead, actually. But this is no summer retreat. It’s a gathering of two, maybe three, lesbians (what is the plural noun? a league of lesbians? a ram of dyke?) at a cabin (beautifully designed by Carolyn Mraz) owned by the parents of their meddlesome straight friend Stacy (Stefanie Black), whose husband (fortunately never seen; he sounds like a schmuck) is home with the sick twins. Catya McMullen‘s bright, funny, well-written new play starts with Gen (Amielynn Abellera) aborting in a bathroom — having been impregnated by an ex — while her lipstick lesbian girlfriend Lily (Kathleen Littlefield in a shirt that says “Fleetwood Cat” [costumes by Danae Iris McQueen]) — is back at home ready to assemble a carpeted cat tree tower. And, well, everything starts to go downhill from there.

Kacie Rogers, Amielynn Abellera, Stefanie Black and Adrián González
Amielynn Abellera and Kathleen Littlefield

As secrets are revealed, and the Kinsey Scale of sexual fluidity is stretched to new definitions, McMullen‘s well-drawn characters are a bit didactic, yes, but they are inviting and likeable — especially given Jenna Worsham‘s snappy if a bit too fast-paced direction (none of the actors paused for the plentiful laughs). One character is downright fetching. That would be Cam, a nice butch with the most talented fingers in dykedom. In one of the best matches of role to character since I saw Reba McEntire as Annie in Annie Get Your Gun, the attractive, down-to-earth Lindsay Coryne sports a wicked haircut and vacillates beautifully between fixing Cam’s friends’ issues (she doesn’t do consoling) and chatting up trucks with Stacy’s brother Levi (Nate Smith), who shows up unexpectedly with his cute, widdle, bromantic buddy Brody (Adrián Gonzáles).

Amielynn Abellera and Lindsay Coryne
Amielynn Abellera, Stefanie Black, Kacie Rogers, Adrián González and Nate Smith

So, you can tell by the names what you’re in for. Cam and Gen are butch, Lily is femme, Stacy’s the straight girl, Levi and Brody are the straight guys, and the third straight girl — who is actually bi … or is she? — is named Maggie (Kacie Rogers). But even with stereotypes, these are people rethinking identity, and that’s refreshing. The show closes this weekend, sadly, but there’s hope for a remount. Which can be said for a lot of the fun folks (folx?) in Arrowhead.

Amielynn Abellera and Stefanie Black
Adrián González and Nate Smith

photos by Jeff Lorch

IAMA Theatre Company
Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave.
Fri , Sat and Mon at 8; Sun at 2
added performance on leap day February 29
ends on March 4, 2024
for tickets, call 323.380.8843 or visit IAMA

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