THE DEVIL'S WIFE
Skylight Theatre Company
Opens: July 15, 2017
Closes: September 3, 2017
Skylight Theatre Company presents the World Premiere of “The Devil’s Wife” by Tom Jacobson, and directed by Eric Hoff. Opening at 8:30pm on Saturday, July 15, 2017, it will continue Saturdays at 8:30pm and Sundays at 3:00pm (no performance on July 29th). Rich with mystery and metaphor The Devil’s Wife is a harrowing comedy that goes to hell. A handsome and wealthy landowner who woos three sisters isn’t what he seems. But neither are they. After July 29th The Devil’s Wife will run in rep with The Lost Child, an emotional thriller that follows an estranged couple as they return to their deserted cabin in the woods to pack it all up. When a storm moves in they find themselves stranded. A mysterious child appears at their door…could this be their lost child? “The Devil’s Wife and The Lost Child both dissect marriage and family with dark hilarity. Perhaps a bit creepy, but it is a sexy-creepy, like when you–well–you know–never mind. Both are uplifting in inappropriate ways that make you feel good but later you feel bad about feeling good, maybe.” – Tom Jacobson, Playwright Tom Jacobson has had more than 80 productions of his plays, including Sperm at Circle X Theatre Company, The Orange Grove at Playwrights Arena, and the award-winning Bunbury, Tainted Blood, Ouroboros and The Friendly Hour at The Road Theatre Company. The Twentieth-Century Way premiered at The Theatre @ Boston Court and the New York International Fringe Festival (five Ovation Award nominations, four Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Circle nominations, one GLAAD Award nomination, Fringe Festival Award for Outstanding Production of a Play, PEN Center Award for Drama) and moved Off Broadway to Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre. Making Paradise: The West Hollywood Musical was produced by Cornerstone Theater Company (Critic’s Pick in Back Stage West). He has been a co-literary manager of The Theatre @ Boston Court, a founding member of Playwrights Ink, and a board member of Cornerstone Theater Company and The Theatre @ Boston Court. Most recent productions include the world premieres of The Chinese Massacre (Annotated) at Circle X and House of the Rising Son at Ensemble Studio Theatre-LA (Critic’s Pick in Back Stage West and Los Angeles Times, nominated for a GLAAD Award and winner of two Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards). Most recently Rogue Machine Theatre Company produced Captain of the Bible Quiz Team (Top Ten Stage Raw, Drama Critic’s Circle Award-Best Solo Performance). Film: ”Prairie Sonata” (based on The Friendly Hour). Opera: Hopscotch, commissioned by The Industry. Director Eric Hoff has numerous directing credits. In Los Angeles: Amos (Bootleg Theater), Monsters We Imagined (UCLA). In New York, he directed Hit the Wall (Barrow Street Theatre), When We Met (CAP21) and About a Woman Named Sarah, by Lucas Hnath (59E59). Directing credits in Chicago include the original production of Hit the Wall (Inconvenience at Steppenwolf Garage), The Life and Death of Madam Barker, The Skriker (Red Tape Theatre), The Walk Across America for Mother Earth (Red Tape Theatre at Steppenwolf Garage), Shelley Duvall’s Women Under The Influence Theatre (Steppenwolf 1700), and Pony, WHAT’S THE T?, and The Woyzeck Project (About Face Theatre, where Hoff is an Artistic Associate). Hoff is the creator and producer of REVIVAL at Chicago’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Regionally: The Many Deaths of Nathan Stubblefield, Melto Man and Lady Mantis, Home Invasion, and I Promised Myself to Live Faster (Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville). Ensemble cast includes Alana Dietze, Mariel Neto, Carolyn Zeller, and Everette Wallin The Devil’s Wife by Tom Jacobson opens at 8:30pm Saturday, July 15th and runs Saturdays at 8:30pm, Sundays 3pm (except July 29th) through August 20, 2017. After July 29th, it runs in rep with The Lost Child by Jennifer W. Rowland which opens at 8:30pm Saturday, July 29th and runs Fridays at 8:30pm and Sundays at 7:00pm through September 3, 2017. Skylight Theatre is located at 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave, LA, 90027. Tickets are $15 – $39, with two play package discounts available. Reservations: 213-761-7061 or online at http://SkylightTix.com
"Stephanie Kurley Schwartz’s set is attractive, but Jeff McLaughlin’s lighting design–referred to by the characters–doesn’t hold up as needed. Mike Mahaffey’s fight direction is fierce and Sarah Figoten Wilson successfully mashes modernism into the late Victorian costumes. I can be the devil’s advocate and relate that, overall, it’s a fun evening; but for future productions, the devil’s in the details."
"Despite its theological trimmings, The Devil’s Wife is entertainment, first and foremost, and succeeds in spades as long as Wallin — whose role calls for him to double as Nick’s wizened truth-telling servant — is center stage. Whether portraying the urbane sophisticated Nick or doubling as his bent and bearded servant, Wallin’s timing and sense of nuance is consistently on point. Most importantly, he makes this fantasy tale almost credible by imbuing his elusive chimerical character with convincing human passions."
"For whatever might be lacking, the Skylight’s impressive production values and Tom Jacobson’s unique capacity to entertain is not among the considerations. It’s actually a kinda perfect choice for a mostly mindless night out of summer fun, something desperately needed as our beloved country spirals down into the crapper around us. If I wasn’t such an avid devotee of Jacobson’s work and had no previous reference leading to a prevailing sense of disappointment since I probably was expecting so much, I’ll bet it would have provided a much better time."
"Eric Hoff’s assured direction keeps the action moving smoothly and quickly and the cast of four each get their moment to shine and shine they do. Wallin does a masterful job as The Devil and as his elderly servant, playing off all three wives with a wicked sense of humor and carefree abandon."
"What struck me next was a sense of style--a very specific kind of comedy, based on broad strokes that yet contain complexity and (as we learn eventually) some real depth."
"Once again revealing Tom Jacobson to be one of L.A.’s most original, daring, compelling playwrights, The Devil’s Wife provides a devilishly entertaining mix of chuckles and chills at the Skylight."
"The Skylight Theatre Company's world premiere of THE DEVIL'S WIFE scores high on all fronts - Tom Jacobson's witty script (with a message), spot-on delivery by its talented cast of four, smooth direction by Eric Hoff, all complemented by Skylight Theatre team's first-rate technical elements. THE DEVIL'S WIFE's certainly one of the more successful Original (capital 'O' emphasized) theatre pieces I've seen over the years."
"THE DEVIL’S WIFE is a clever, amusing fable which straddles reality and fantasy with just a hint of the supernatural."
"Jacobson has convincingly crafted a newly-minted folk tale that feels utterly familiar. Few writers would dare to throw in a Miltonian debate on God’s responsibilities during a physical showdown. Director Eric Hoff makes sure that the action never lags during the play’s 80-minute running time. He also mines every laugh, but, perhaps, at the expense of the story’s creepier moments. I think that, like a good Hammer film, the humor could enhance the horror rather than overwhelming it. Cudos to Fight Choreographer Mike Mahaffey for a brilliantly wince-inducing battle between Mastema and Sofia."