“Good fences make good neighbors,” goes the saying… but that’s until they find out that the fence is in the wrong place and declare to own a chunk of your garden! That’s what happens in NATIVE GARDENS, the entertaining play now performing at the Pasadena Playhouse until Sep. 30, 2018.
NATIVE GARDENS was written by Karen Zacarias and is at the Playhouse directed by Jason Alexander (Yeap. George from Seinfeld. He must hate the eternal reference, but it’s unavoidable.) The principal actors are folks you’ll recognize from TV – Bruce Davidson (The Fosters), Frances Fisher (Resurrection), Christian Barillas (Modern Family), and Jessica Meraz (Major Crimes).
NATIVE GARDENS is both funny and intelligent. Its fine actors deliver the play’s punchy one-liners beautifully, but in between all the fun, you’re also given important commentary about culture differences, the environment, ageism, politics, and more.
Julian Armaya, Bradley Roa II, and Richard Biglia are also in the play. They portray gardeners that, for once, are not the eternal gardener stereotype but instead bring much delight to the show. They dance in and out of stage to (also, for once) bachata, merengue, and samba sounds, while indicating the day and time in which the scenes to follow occur, since the play happens presumably in the course of a week.
Zacarias described her own creation as “a big-hearted comedy with a lot of sharp little teeth,” and the description is perfect. This is a thoroughly enjoyable play, set in a gorgeous stage by David Meyer, that moves fast (90 minutes, no intermission), and in which you’ll see yourself, your family, and perhaps your neighbors.
Highly recommended, NATIVE GARDENS will perform Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings at 8 pm; Saturday at 2 pm and 8 pm; and Sunday at 2 pm and 7 pm. It will also perform on Tuesdays Sep. 11 and 25 at 8 pm. Tickets start at $29, available at PasadenaPlayhouse.org or by calling (626) 356-7529.
The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Ave., in Pasadena CA 91101.
Photo: (L-R): Bruce Davison, Frances Fisher, Jessica Meraz, and Christian Barillas in Native Gardens at Pasadena Playhouse. // Photo by Jenny Graham
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