Remembering The Graduate

  • 03/14/2013
  • Terelle Jerricks

By John Farrell, Contributing Reviewer

If you don’t remember The Graduate as a film, with the memorable line “Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?” as iconic as anything from the 60s, you can see The Graduate at the Long Beach Playhouse’s Mainstage Theater through March 30 and you’ll have a great time.

The play, though tarted up with 60s songs and even some video clips from the period, is a classic story that doesn’t depend on its era for its impact.

And, if you do remember the movie, this version is delightful. It is different enough to make it interesting and engaging. You’ll enjoy it even 40 years and more after the original.

Director Carl DaSilva knows that, of course, and though he includes those grace notes, he lets the coming of age story of young Ben Braddock (Eric Pierce) play out in a sparse set, where the story is more important than the period.

The Graduate is an adaptation by Terry Johnson from the screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry, based on a novel by Charles Webb. Pierce is seduced by Mrs. Robinson (the lovely Lori Kelley) but is in love with her daughter (the innocent Andrea Dennison Laufer). He has to convince the daughter he is love with her. Skip Blas is Pierce’s father Mr. Braddock and Mr. Robinson is Tom Juarez. Both men are playhouse regulars and both men are delightfully comic.

The play is witty and fast-paced as the movie, but much more personal. The Graduate is a great way to remember a fine film, or see it in a new light.

Tickets are $24, $21 for seniors and $14 for students. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., through March 30.

Details: (562) 494-1014;
Long Beach Playhouse Mainstage Theater
5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

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