Can't Make It To London's West End? Try Our Own Lounge Theatre Instead!

Leigh Kennicott Reviews - Theater

The Lounge hosts Tony Tanner’s canny adaptation of Ibsen’s Ghosts in a production that can only be called a wonder. From its admirable setting that amplifies the Lounge 2’s tiny stage, to a succession of skillful performances from classically-trained actors, Tanner’s stripped down version of the play misses nothing from the original. Some may find Ibsen’s language, even in translation, to be a bit stilted, until settling in to this 19th cenutry story of consequences meted out by genetic inheritance. Since we’re living with these triggers even today, the play provides the perfect allegory for our own times.

If you don’t know the story: promising artist Osvalt (David Shofner) has come home to recuperate from a mysterious illness. His mother, Helene (Alison Shanks), pampers and fusses over him now as she never did in his youth. He finds love with bounteous Regina (played alternatively by Jill Maglione and Christina Calph), whose father, Engstrand (Joe Hulser) is a rough construction worker. Family confessor, Pastor Manders (Stuart W. Howard), disapproves of their match. The mystery unfolds as we learn why the “sins of the father are visited on the son,” and why Manders will not condone Osvalt and Regina’s proposed marriage.

I cannot stress enough the skill behind Tanner’s adaptation, the excellent cast, and the dedicated group of artists who contribute the comfortable set design (Evan Bartoletti), costume coordination (Carin Jacobs), and lighting (James Smith III). Give Me The Sun is a sterling example of Los Angeles’ aggregation of high quality theatre. But about the title: perhaps Tanner feels that his adaptation goes too far astray of Ibsen’s original play. But it feels so true that I wish it had been titled Ibsen’s Ghosts, freely adapted by Tony Tanner. Tell your friends to enter the code GIVESUN for a special discount on ticket prices!

SST Productions presents Give Me The Sun, running through this weekend (Oct 7th) at The Lounge 2: Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM; Sunday at 2:00 PM. The Lounge is located at 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90038. Reservations and information at