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Theater Review: Distractions at the Crash Site

Joel Scher and a bunny by Emory Royston in Distractions at the Crash Site. Photo by Brad C. Light.

Steve Yockey’s view of the world is from way up high, and simultaneously down in the weeds. It starts out feeling normal, until its off-kilter alt-world side is revealed—a side that keeps you wondering what’s going on and what will happen next.

The seven short plays that make up Yockey’s Distractions at the Crash Site feature blood, although not as much as in his violently compelling Mercury. Many feature versions of a Greek chorus that reinforce the unlikely circumstances. The plays’ intriguing titles combine to paint a picture of out-of-control technology, animals, and bad things happening to questionable people.

Ron Morehouse, Lisa Clifton, Cat Davis, Gabby Sanalitro in Distractions at the Crash Site. Photo by Brad C. Light.

Yockey’s twisted sensibility works in multiple genres: in addition to plays, he created the HBO Max series The Flight Attendant, and the brand new Netflix show DeadBoy Detectives.

A total of 10 flexible actors play multiple roles in Distractions, adapting to subjects both dark and light. They are: Lisa Clifton, Krista Conti, Henry Cruz, Cat Davis, Grace Eboigbe, Sierra Marcks, Ron Morehouse, Trevor Olsen, Gabby Sanalitro and Joel Sher.

The plays offer payoffs that feel inevitable, and land like punchlines to edgy jokes. Although diverse in subject matter and tone, they hang together through their surreal sensibility, direction by Ryan Bergmann, clever set design by Amanda Knehans and entr’acte set transitions by the cast. Sound design by Matt Richter includes music that perfectly reinforces the tone of the proceedings.

Distractions at the Crash Site runs through Saturday, June 1 at Theatre of NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd (just north of Sunset). Show times are Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 7:00pm. Tickets are $25, except for pay-what-you-can Mondays on May 13 and 20, and can be purchased here.

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Laura Foti Cohen
Laura Foti Cohen
Laura Foti Cohen has lived in the Brookside neighborhood since 1993. She works as a freelance writer, editor and consultant. She's also a playwright affiliated with Theatre West.

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