The annual Block Party at the Kirk Douglas Theater is a theatrical feast to enjoy. Taking three productions from smaller Los Angels theaters and giving them the space and support of the KDT family opens doors for the actors and audience, to everyone’s benefit.
Theatre of NOTE’s production of “For The Love Of (or, the roller derby play),” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre is the first part of the third annual Block Party: Celebrating Los Angeles Theatre. It’s a play that shows women as their toughest and most tender selves, with the competition of the roller derby a welcome break from the challenges of life. “For The Love Of” follows Joy and Michelle, long-term partners who find their lives turned upside down when Joy joins a roller derby team called the Brooklyn Scallywags. Joy becomes close with the star of the team, Lizzie Lightning, and must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to follow her heart.
It’s a charming and powerful play about self-discovery and relationships that shows how women support, compete and love each other, sometimes all at the same time. Outstanding writing by Femia offers dialogue that rings absolutely true, and every actor succeeds in both the solo spots and the ensemble work.
Written by Gina Femia and directed by Rhonda Kohl, the cast includes Crystal Diaz, Elinor Gunn, Liesel Hanson, Faith Imafidon, Cindy Lin, Nadia Marina, Lynn Odell, Alina Phelan, Briana Price, Nicole Gabriella Scipione, Yolanda Snowball, Jenny Soo, Nancy Stone and Tania Verafield. The design team includes scenic design by Eli Smith, costume design by Vicki Conrad, lighting design by Rose Malone and sound design by Gilly Moon. The production stage manager is Brooke Baldwin.
The cast avoids all the cliches that can weaken a sports drama, and highlights the reality of the teammates lives both on the track and out in the world.
For the Love Of… or, The Roller Derby Play will close March 17.The next play in the Block Party is Rotterdam, coming on March 28, so hurry to get tickets, for the love of …