Mandrake’s End – Opens April 19th

Mandrake’s End

Mandrake

A Murder Mystery Dramedy

Stages of Gray Theatre Company – Resident Theatre Company at Famed Hudson Theatres, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Available paid parking on Hudson Drive across from the theatre.

WHEN: April 19 to May 30, 2014. Fridays at 8:00 p.m. on April 25 and May 2, 9, 16, 23, & 30.

Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. on April 19 & 26, as well as May 3, 10, 17, and 24.

ADMISSION: $25. Check Promo Code for Discounts on line.

RESERVATIONS: (323) 960-7776.

ONLINE TICKETING: www.plays411.com/mandrake

 

“Mandrake’s End,” set in modern day, finds Byron Meade, world class murder mystery writer, at his lake house to deal with his convoluted plot to recapture portions of his life that he feels he has lost.  Byron has to deal with the ever-twisting realities of his family life,                                        which is not something that he has ever been good at.  Bringing the love of his life, Evelyn Townsend to the lake house for dinner with her son and Byron’s protégé, Joshua Townsend, Byron is forced to finally face the truth of who it is he has become, and what if anything, can be done to make something better of what is left of his life.  In yet another convoluted set of mysterious scenarios, Byron must help his daughter, Rebecca Devlin come to grips with the results of decisions she has made in her life.  Not to mention the fact that he must deal with her husband, Christopher Devlin, and a tumultuous situation that he has placed himself in which could well cause everyone in the family to lose their lives.  Former school friend now nemesis Harold Mandrake has found a way to take Byron’s firm away from him, as well as his flat in the city.  Now Harold is out for blood, and he has no intentions of stopping until he gets it.

 

More Audience Feedback on “Dead Men Have No Voice”

“Mere words don’t explain it; this show needs to be experienced to understand the sheer beauty, intelligence, humor, and conniving plot twists that make this production truly fantastic to experience.  I cannot wait to see the final episode.”                                                                               Tyler – Canoga Park

“The story moves at a good pace and always keeps you guessing.  The use of the colored lights was fantastically splendid, I look forward to seeing the movie.”                                           Anthony – Burbank

“Great technical work throughout, and the actors interface with the audience was brilliant.”                                                                                                                                                                              Kyle – West Lake Village

“Twisted, dark, hauntingly demented: This installment of “The Lake House Chronicles” takes the audience even deeper into the sick and yet still mysterious and entertaining minds of the complex characters.”                                                                                                                                Zach – Los Angeles

“It was amazing.  I loved the energy and all the plot twists of the play.  The actors did a truly great job.”                                                                                                                                             Oscar – Los Angeles

“The show was amazing!  I was enthralled the entire time.  I kept praying Byron Meade would come back to life….I can’t wait for the final installment.”                                                          Josh – Burbank

“After seeing the first half of the play, my thoughts were that the well engaged in their parts and performed well together on stage.  My opinion was only enriched with the second half.”                                                                                                                                                                                   Graham – Westlake Village

“Great presentation!!  A lot of action and many aspects of wandering just which way things would go!! Excellent!!”                                                                                                                                 Joanne – Illinois

“Excellent acting and phenomenal story’ can’t wait for the final installment!!!”              Claire – Culver City

“Enjoyed it very much!  Looking forward to the final episode!  What a Story!!!”            DiAnn – Century City

“Unbelievably entertaining and funny.  Did not see the first episode, but this one filled me in just fine.  Can’t wait to see the final episode!!”                                                                                   Dillon – Moorepark

Review of Dead Men Have No Voice From Mary Montoro – All About The Stage

Mary E. Montoro                             All About the Stage

 

DEAD MEN HAVE NO VOICE

 “Chris is in a psychiatric ward, he’s basically on a holiday from life.”

Byron Meade said talking about Chris Devlin

The fun never stops. We last saw renowned mystery writer Byron Meade (Jay Antonos) dead, and having left his assistant Joshua Townsend (Bobby Dean) his estate. Townsend returns with his lover Rebecca “Becky” Devlin (Rachel Kotin) who is visibly upset that her father didn’t leave the financial firm to her after his death. He suffered a heart attack when he heard that his son-in-law Christopher went to prison. The audience learns that this was not possible as the late Byron Meade actually owned the firm, and sold it before his death to someone named Richard Crowne. This causes the young woman to imbibe cocktail after cocktail to ease her troubled mind. She polishes off a bottle of wine in less than 10 minutes. Joshua tries to calm his lover but doesn’t succeed. Between these two individuals, they have enough secrets to be on the cover of People magazine.

Nobody steals from Byron Meade! From the ashes, the arrogant asshole resurfaces. He returns as if he came back from a long holiday. He sees Joshua living comfortably at the lake house, and Becky spending far more time there than he would normally approve of. All Byron needs is his passport which, of course, Joshua doesn’t give it to him, at first. They struggle as Becky watches in horror but, she has a drink so everything is okay with her.  During this tumultuous family reunion, Christopher (Matthew Domencio) breaks out of jail with the help of a fellow con, who’s serving a 24 stretch for the for rape and kidnaping of a woman, named Harry (Mark Youngs). In return for helping Chris, Harry is promised to be able to take what he likes from the lake house for his own financial gain. Harry goes straight to the cozy retreat and finds he’s not alone.

This is the second in a trilogy of writer/director Randall Gray’s The Lake House Chronicles who continues to set up another chilling story that will leave you a little lost, there’s a lot going on family wise, but definitely satisfied.

Jay Antonos returns as the feisty alpha male writer Byron Meade. He brings back Meade’s insufferable ego and manipulative soul. He has a new cast to work with and like the audience, they are just as captivated and perhaps a little bit disgusted, at this demi-god in front of them. Bobby Dean takes over the role as the ambitious yet sympathetic Joshua Townsend. He brings forth a strong sense of vulnerability and toughness when necessary. Kotin (pronounced Coat-ien) does a great job as the alcoholic lover with too much going on. Like Dean, the actress brings forth sympathy which requires a handy list of Alcoholic Anonymous locations and times. You have to feel bad for the girl. Her father dies and leaves her nothing. Her husband escapes and tells his rapist friend to stay at the lake house. She’s got some serious issues that cannot be solved like a half hour comedy television series.

It’s Gray’s wicked imagination that continues to make both the characters and their current scenarios fascinating and addictive to watch. All eyes are on Antonos as the know-it-all Meade. Once again, Antonos tunes in to his character oversized ego and delivers each time. Dean holds is own as Meade’s protégé and partner-in-crime.  Kotin is the heart light in this grim noir conveying a tenderness that complements the dark side. Harry brings out another element that is vital to this segment. For once, at least now, everyone must stick together so this maniac can go back where he came from and continue his long stretch.

Once again Randall Gray has another sensation with his poised pen.

Dead Men Have No Voice plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. until Saturday, April 12th, at the Hudson Theatre Complex, located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., in Hollywood. For ticket information call (323) 960-7776 or reserve online at www.plays411.com.

Audience Feed Back on Dead Men Have No Voice”

” Truly creative story, it should be a movie!”      

” Very good production, the story line keeps moving forward with some interesting and unexpected set-ups and comedic behaviors.”

“Really enjoyed the acting and the overall tone of the play, the levels played out in the production are extremely powerful.”

“Quick drama and tight tension lead to a show that whipped!”

“Great cast, unbelievable energy, fantastic production.”

 

Recent Review of Dead Men Have No Voice

‘Dead Men Have No Voice’ – Episode Two of ‘The Lake House Chronicles’
London, Los Angeles, New York, wake up and pay attention; there is some amazing theatrical programing happening on Theatre Row in Hollywood, CA with the Stages of Gray Theatre Company.  Owner/Writer/Director, Randall Gray has done it again… The second episode of his trilogy, “The Lake House Chronicles,” has just opened, and is damn hot!  Quite by accident, I reviewed the first production, “The Lake House Project,” and found myself overwhelmingly surprised and excited about the kind of work this company was producing.  I knew then and there that I had to return to see what they did next, and now know that I will be back again and again.
In what appeared to be the deeper story of Byron Meade’s extended family, Dead Men Have No Voice is a production about telling the truth, regardless of the pain that it might cause.  Returning to his lake house to retrieve his stolen passport, Byron Meade is forced to face the music with his three children – all apparently from different mothers.  He has to come clean with the truth about his own past as he is demanded by his daughter, Becky to explain the facts about who he is and what he has done that has so damaged her seemingly perfect world.  She has a few issues of her own to deal with however, as she must now admit to her husband that she has a lover.  This opens the door for even more battle, as husband Chris Devlin and lover Josh Townsend find more than ample time to physically beat upon each other.  As if this cleverly contrived work weren’t packed with enough confusion, Gray also introduces a new character in the plot, villain Harry Mandrake who seems to be tied to each and every other character within the story.  Moving very quickly and forcing the audience member to pay particularly close attention every moment of the show, Dead Men Have No Voice is a truly intelligent production.
I expected a number of things from this theatre ensemble, and all of them were pretty extra-ordinary expectations, I must admit I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to solid theatrical entertainment.  To my surprise, I got my backside handed to me, “Dead Men Have No Voice,” the second episode of the trilogy, was simply outstanding.  The amazing cast and outstanding writing had me wondering what on earth could possibly be coming out of this manipulative plot next.  Turning the bend at every other breathe, I found myself on the edge of my seat with both aggravation (as I was identifying with the characters – something I rarely have the privilege of doing), and excited to see what on earth this writer/director could have come up with next.
There were some difficulties with technical issues on the Sunday I attended the production, but as it was an opening show, I was not horrified by that.  The set had changed from the production so very little that I felt as though I were coming home myself – excellent choice by the directorial team.  And then there were the performers…how does Gray find and train these people?  I have been to several different theatres in Los Angeles now and NONE of them were worthy of my returning, and not once have I found an actor that caught my attention, much less made me want to watch their career.  Not the case with Gray’s cast; Bobby Dean, portraying Joshua Townsend, seems to transcend reason and portrays his character in such a manner that causes you to love, hate, sympathize, and understand him at the same time.  Rachel Kotin as Rebecca Devlin is not only a true beauty, but more powerfully, she captivates the audience’s attention; not to mention that she plays a drunk quite well.  Jay Antonos as Byron Meade, apparently had a few mixed up lines here and there, but was so damned genuine, that you couldn’t help but cheer for the guy.  Robert Sherry as Christopher Devlin controlled my thinking and I not only identified with his character, but found myself wanting to watch the entirety of this young man’s career.  It was a shame he was not on the stage for more of the show.  Finally David Humphreys as Harry Mandrake had a strong presence on stage, though it seemed overly odd that he was fighting so hard for the audience to empathize with him, as he is intended to be the villain.
The set is a brilliantly designed and devilishly decorated lake house sitting room, adorned with just about every kind of weapon imaginable, many of which find their way into the production as well.  The theatre is welcoming and pleasant, though I am shocked that Gray, with this kind of programming, isn’t in a massively larger house.  The facility was clean and convenient, and there is valet paid parking, though I must say that the parking staff was a bit rude. Excellent job and kudos to Stages of Gray Theatre Company.
London / Los Angeles, CA Theatrical Review Board

DEAD MEN HAVE NO VOICE

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DEAD MEN HAVE NO VOICE

Rachel Kotin, David Humphreys, Jay Antonos, Robert Sherry, and Bobby Dean

Dead Men Have No Voice

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Dead Men Have No Voice

Rachel Kotin, Bobby Dean, and Robert Sherry