Let Me In opens with that literal demand, as a woman pounds on a bedroom door. She’s worried that her friend, a groom whose bride died in a car accident a week before their wedding, is suicidal. Red Casey (Rachael Meyers) has called the police, who show up in the person of Officer Hamilton Steele (Jorge Garcia) to coax Bobby Hawk (Bryan McKinley) out of the bedroom. Red is trying to get Bobby dressed and to his bride’s funeral, scheduled at the same time and church as the wedding would have been.
Over the course of the next two hours, these characters gradually, and in fascinating and comically tragic layers, let us in. The comedy is razor sharp, even as the tragedy builds through details about all of the characters, both seen and unseen.
Officer Steele, who is about to retire, is drawn to the two friends and their unique situation–especially well-known sports reporter Red Casey. He reluctantly leaves to handle a jumper a few blocks away in Manhattan’s Soho district. In his absence, Red and Bobby go deep, their communal loss bonding them in new ways.
As Red Casey, Meyers is a physical presence and remarkable acting talent that sometimes threatens to outshine the two men. She towers over them both and repeatedly flexes her power. Yet Garcia and McKinley hold their own, garnering sympathy and respect.
Writer/director Brynn Thayer, an accomplished actress herself, is fearless in her exploration of loss and its shock waves. Multiple kinds of loss expose levels and types of suffering. The hot breath of suicide hovers over the play, adding to its intensity. Yet Let Me In manages to retain its humor throughout, a rare achievement that serves to accentuate the broken hearts.
The use of scenery, props and food is remarkable. The set is jam packed and the actors not only must navigate its many obstacles, they move items, including furniture, practically nonstop. They dance. They eat and drink. They live their lives ferociously and we are the better for having known them.
Let Me In is performed Saturdays and Sundays through April 2 at The Rosalie in Theatre 68 Arts Complex, 5112 Lankershim Blvd.. North Hollywood. Saturday shows are at 8:00pm, Sundays at 2:00 and 7:00pm. Tickets are $35 and are available here.