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Published on June 20th, 2012 | by RLn Staff

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Real Estate, Heart Aches and Head Aches

By John Farrell

The house in question is a little bit far away for an easy commute to the South Bay, but you don’t have to buy the house to buy Real Estate. The play opened Friday, June 15 at Little Fish Theatre. It’s guaranteed to amuse even if you haven’t been house shopping. Actually, the hand-built home next to a lake in Canada, is just the McGuffin, for this contemporary comedy.

James Rice directs and stars as Joel Hopper, a writer suffering from writer’s block for more than a year and must sell his father’s house because his father refused to pay taxes and the municipal authorities have given him a week to sell or else. He also has to keep track of his phone, which is usually lost and play’s “Oh, Canada” as its ring-tone.

Amanda Karr (most recently at Little Fish in the very different and dark Night Mother) is his real estate agent. This house would be her first sale. She drew the address from a hat when a recently deceased partner’s listings were divvied up. She wants to succeed, but has to change Joel to make the house salable, and goes about it in a ditzy but loveable way.

Joel has writer’s block because his wife has been living with another man for more than a year and finally wants a divorce. Estelle Hopper (Stephanie Schulz), the wife, shows up after more than a year away, still in love but holding divorce papers. Her boyfriend, Ted Phillips (Dennis Baker) a nice guy but hung up on his good looks and the beauty products he has developed.

All this is done with a Canadian flavor: farce but without doors slamming. The way Americans would do it if we had health care. Rice keeps it cool but very funny, and the single room set, designed by Christopher Beyries, is perfect for the comedy. Every house has a story, the playwright suggests. Some have more history than others, but you’ll love this one’s special tale.

Tickets are $25, $22 for seniors and students. Performances are Friday, June 22 at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 23 at 8 p.m.. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through July 21 with additional performances Sunday, July 7 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Thursday, July 19 at 8 p.m.
Details: (310) 512-6030, www.littlefishtheatre.org
Venue: Little Fish Theatre
Location: 777 Centre St., San Pedro

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