A dark comedy that mixes laughter with loss, LET ME IN makes its Los Angeles debut at the newly remodeled Theatre 68 in 2023. The play is written and directed by Brynn Thayer, best known as the Emmy-nominated actor who began her career performing a recurring role in the daytime soap opera “One Life to Live” for eight years. Thayer has worked extensively in film and television and created a solo show, “The Eulogy,” which was well received and earned her the Los Angeles Times sobriquet as “a singular talent.” Inspired by events in her youth, LET ME IN studies issues some very serious issues related to love, loss, and grief – but with a sardonic and darkly comic view.
Set now in New York City, Bobby Hawk (Bryan McKinley) and Red Casey (Rachael Meyers) had been preparing for Bobby’s wedding to his fiancée, who was Red’s best friend. But then life threw in a monkey wrench – and now the church wedding has morphed into a funeral for the bride, victim of an auto accident. But the competent and level-headed Red can’t seem to get Bobby out of his locked room and ready to bid farewell to his doomed bride. Enter Hamilton Steele III (Jorge Garcia), an NYPD patrol officer who shows up after neighbors in the apartment building complain about the shouting and banging coming from Bobby’s apartment. This is Hamilton’s last day on the job, since he’s retiring at the end of his shift today. He certainly doesn’t need any added stress. Soon, everything takes an unpredictable – and often hilarious – turn for the bride’s bestie, the intended groom, and the retiring cop.
Skillfully directed by playwright Brynn Thayer, LET ME IN takes a serious and depressing event in life and turns it into something to chuckle about. What better way to deal with grief? The talented and experienced cast manages to dig deep into what constitutes life and love – and the many ways that each of us deals with grief. At the same time, the play keeps twisting and turning as it deals with the improbable combination of laughter and tears. Never a dull moment!
The production team does a great job of working on the setting, with scenic design by Joel Daavid, costumes by Mylette Nora, light by Gaven Wyrick, and sound by Joseph Slawinski. And let’s not forget fight director Celina Lee Surniak and choreographer Emily Mikolitch. This is definitely a team effort which succeeds. LET ME IN will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one, especially a person with everything to live for – in a violent and unexpected way. It will also remind everyone that handling grief might be easier if mixed with a gentle touch of humor.
LET ME IN runs through April 2, 2023, with performances at 8 p.m. on Saturdays and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sundays. Theatre 68 Arts Complex (the Rosalie) is located at 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601. Tickets are $35. For information and reservations, call 818-691-3001 or go online.