I’ve never been so close to acting so good as I was at L.A.’s Odyssey Theatre Ensemble for “AfterMath” starring Annie Potts. I sat in the front row just a few feet from the stage, and was blown away by the effortless authenticity of her every expression, movement and word. This Elliot Shoenman play — directed by Mark L. Taylor, and produced by Gary Guidinger and Linda Toliver — runs through March 13th, so there’s still time for you to witness the brilliance that is Annie Potts.
“AfterMath” is a comedic drama about a family coping with the suicide of the father. Annie Potts plays his widow and the mother of their two grown children, played by Meredith Bishop and Daniel Taylor. A family friend rounds out the cast, played by Michael Mantell. Together they make for a well-balanced supporting cast, all with impressive resumes of their own.
The story stays with you for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its basis on the playwrite’s father’s suicide when Elliot Shoenman was 18 and his younger sister was 11.
On stage, the real-life suicide note haunts the family via its larger-than-life projection on an interior wall.
It’s hard to imagine a more appropriate venue for this intimate story. I didn’t count the seats, but the Odyssey Theatre doesn’t seat many. I’m the worst at guesstimates of this sort, so I’ll keep the range large and say 50 to 100. In the best possible way, it feels like sitting on your couch watching a play performed in your very own living room, starring one of the finest comedic actresses in the world.
THE SOCIAL MEDIA REVIEW
To mark your calendar for upcoming shows at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, check out www.OdysseyTheatre.com. They also have a Facebook Fan page with a respectable following and overall stellar reviews on Yelp, but overall would serve themselves well to dramatically broaden their social media reach.
As all websites do, OdysseyTheatre.com needs a blog. As I reiterate here in just about every post, blogs are what we look for first in websites these days. Unlike other website content, it can be written in a very conversational style and gives visitors a sense of the personality of the person or place. It’s also a great way to woo search engines, as they love regularly updated content. For the Odyssey Theatre, a blog would be the ideal way of promoting upcoming shows, sharing reviews, and spotlighting actors, directors and producers of note.
Beyond that, the Odyssey needs a Twitter page, an invaluable tool for targeting theater lovers in the L.A. area. And assuming they take pictures during their shows, a Flickr page would be ideal for posting pics with search-engine-optimized descriptions.
The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble was founded in 1969 as experiment-oriented theater. The Odyssey produces 10 plays of its own every year, but “AfterMath” is a guest production, with performances March 10 and 11 at 8 pm, March 12 at 3 and 8 pm, and March 13 at 2 and 5 pm. Click here to purchase tickets.
Meredith Simonds, Social Media Reviewer, Blogger and Consultant
The social media suggestions in this post are general and brief. To see what a comprehensive review entails, check out my Social Media Services.