Theater Review: THE NIGHT AUDITOR (Seat of Your Pants Productions at The Madnani Theater)

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by Shari Barrett on May 13, 2024

in Theater-Los Angeles


Written by Roger Mathey based on his own personal experience working in a three-star hotel in Los Angeles for over a decade, The Night Auditor takes place during the graveyard shift in a seedy Hollywood hotel that attracts the outcasts of society. The stories are all based on Mr. Mathey’s actual encounters involving D-list celebrities, drunks, the homeless, social influencers, an 80s pop icon, Polish Gay Pride marchers, prostitutes, scorned wives, paranoid schizophrenics, adult entertainers, rock and roll wannabes, drug users, and a sex toy salesman. The play also deals with suicide awareness, a personal crusade or Mr. Mathey’s, as it was something he encountered often in his work and experienced it firsthand.

With a three-hour running time, I guarantee you will really feel as if you have spent the entire graveyard shift with those unfortunate enough to man the front desk and/or live there. What each has in common is the desire to connect with others, to gain a bit of acceptance for who they are, no matter what the outside world may think of them. And in the wee hours of the morning, what else can you expect to see at such a rundown place in Hollywood?

In a low-rate Hollywood hotel during the graveyard shift, desk Clerks Jack (Christian Sanders)
& Ray (Roger Mathey) deal with guest and adult entertainer legend Carrie (Cait Bidwell)

Mr. Mathey, the founder of Seat of Your Pants Productions — which produced  Trainspotting in Hollywood in 2013 — was diagnosed with an aggressive form of MS last year and his deteriorating condition means this will be the last play he will produce and direct, and the final show for the 501c3 production company. He admits, “I wanted to go out in style, bringing together a cast and crew of people I have worked with over the years and getting one more chance to work with them again.”

And with a cast of 18 plus 5 understudies covering all 30 characters who mix and mingle in the hotel lobby throughout the early morning hours, even the well-known hot pink-clad Evangelyna (Libby Letlow-Gray) who just comes in to hang out with others there, this slice-of-life look at the hidden underbelly of Tinsel Town will make you appreciate what you have, be it very little, while laughing through this new dark comedy.

Pop icon Evangelyna (Libby Letlow-Gray) is one of the frequent visitors of the lobby

Featured players of note include Mathey as Ray, the night auditor in charge of the front desk who cannot seem to keep any other staff member around to help him, except the night janitor Eddy (Martin Berishaj) who disappears for hours to service the lonely ladies staying upstairs who request some well-skilled company. His friend and front desk assistant Jack (tall and lanky, long-haired, and handsome Christian Sanders), and frequently missing front desk clerk Khandi (Faith Lavon) interact with the guests on many levels, especially adult sex toy salesman Mr. Watt (Darriel Herron) who gladly shares his wares from the rolling briefcase he always keeps with him in the lobby where he hangs out to watch TV and look for women willing to give him the time of day, so to speak.

Other interesting hotel patrons include adult entertainer legend Carrie (curvy Cait Bidwell) who is obviously there to work on an X-rated video in a room in “the quiet section” of the hotel. Each time she re-enters the lobby, Carrie is dressed in a different dominatrix get-up complete with flogger or crop, with Jack more than happy to get any requested items she needs. And then there’s Mrs. Turing (Shanda Bonn) whose off-color Tourette Syndrome outbursts garnered tons of laughter each time she crossed the stage.

Front Desk Agents Khandi (Faith Lavon) and Jack (Christian Sanders)
check out the wares of sex toy salesman Mr. Watt (Darriel Herron)

During scene breaks two scantily clad young ladies, Jessica (Monique Gomez) and Ashley (Sarah Allyn Bauer), walk across the stage on their phones, dishing about their so-called friends while stopping to move the hands on the front desk clocks ahead a few hours to denote the passing of time, while giving actors a chance to change characters and/or costumes.

All in all, there was fun to be had – both for the actors and myself. But the three-hour run time with one intermission (and only one one-seat restroom) really stretched patience to the max.

Two wild and crazy Polish men (Isaac Deakyne and Josh Evans) attend a pride event at the hotel

photos by Anna Blake

The Night Auditor
Seat of Your Pants Productions
The Madnani Theater, 6760 Lexington Ave
Fri and Sat at 8; Sun at 4
ends on May 26, 2024
for tickets, visit The Night Auditor

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