Playwright David Auburn, best known for “Proof” – a 2001 Tony and Pulitzer Prize winners – sinks his talented teeth into the tale of two lost souls meeting in a ramshackle cabin on the shores of a lake, a Lost Lake. Skillfully directed by Faye Viviana, LOST LAKE comes to the Los Angeles stage in 2022. Produced by the Crimson Square Theatre Company, the drama is their 2022/2023 season opener at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.
Recently widowed Veronica (Lisagaye Tomlinson) has come to Lost Lake looking for a rental where she and her two young children can get away and enjoy the perfect idyllic vacation. Her search has been fruitless, perhaps due to racial undercurrents, when she discovers the dilapidated cabin which Hogan (Craig Bachmann) is trying to rent out. While the cabin is sadly in need of repairs – and while Hogan himself seems to be in even greater need of repairs – Veronica realizes that her options are few and, after some stringent negotiations about price and fixes, decides to take the plunge. When she arrives four months later to take possession, things are even worse than before: no patch-ups, no telephone, and – worse yet – no hot water. It seems that Hogan’s problems have escalated to the point where he is overwhelmed, under-motivated, and – quite frankly – broke.
It is then that author Auburn begins to peel back the personality layers of these two troubled strangers, each with so much baggage that it is difficult to even breathe, much less move forward. But then something strange happens: these two very different and prickly people with no one else to turn to begin to form an unlikely friendship. Perhaps “the blind leading the blind” is the best that they can do in their current circumstances. Will it be enough?
LOST LAKE is the understated story of two people the world left behind. The setting is appropriately run down and hopeless, with remnants of happier times scattered here and there like flotsam and jetsam in the cabin’s interior. On the surface, it is a quiet tale – but underneath, the volcano is getting ready to erupt. Viviana helms the piece with compassion – but also with a realistic eye for the world as it really is. The production’s strength, however, rests with the stunning and seemingly effortless performances offered by Tomlinson and Bachmann. At times, their chemistry is so potent that they do not appear to be acting. This is a play which should appeal to audiences who enjoy the interplay of two people as they gradually open like buds to reveal their deepest secrets and fears.
LOST LAKE RUNS THROUGH October 9, 2022, with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sundays. The Beverly Hills Playhouse is located at 254 South Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Tickets are $35. For information and reservations, call 310-855-1556 or go online.