THE WEEKLY HERALD   EVERETT, WASHINGTON
Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Laughs guaranteed in ‘The Golden State'

REVIEW | By Dale Burrows
For The Weekly Herald
Terry Boyd, Wendy Enden, Austin Gregory, Melanie Calderwood, Kelsey Jacobs and Kelsey Hamilton appear in Phoenix Theatre's production of “The Go...

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Terry Boyd, Wendy Enden, Austin Gregory, Melanie Calderwood, Kelsey Jacobs and Kelsey Hamilton appear in Phoenix Theatre's production of “The Golden State.”

The son is a closeted gay man failing pathetically on the dating scene for straights. The suicidal daughter is hooking up with the gardener every chance they get. Why the dysfunction?
A mean, widowed, millionaire matriarch brought her little darlings up by putting them down – and still is.
Laughter is the medicine reached for in this satirical farce titled “The Golden State,” written by Lauren Wilson and modeled after Moliere's “The Miser.”
How well that medicine goes down depends on how you take to today's issues exaggerated big time in a run-down mansion in 21st century Southern California.
The climbs to ridiculous extremes are plausible enough, and the undocumented immigrants working for slave wages are stereotypes but OK.
Also, the action cranks up as the story moves along and the wrap up may be a little too big bang but there is leeway enough for actors to ham it up.
All in all, Wilson's script allows Eric Lewis's directing room to maneuver.
Melanie Calderwood's monster mom is blockhead funny.
Terry Boyd's closeted son offers some hilarious highlights.
Wendy Enden's* suicidal Sylvia inserts a little Ophelia.
And a cameo appearance by D. Knoop as Bunny is the surprise that brings the whole show together. You've got to see to believe.
For me, laughter is the best medicine. Here, it is four parts happy pill, one part placebo.
Reactions? Comments? Email Dale Burrows at grayghost7@comcast.net or entertainment@weeklyherald.com.
‘The Golden State'
WHEN: Through April 22
WHERE: 9673 Firdale Ave., Edmonds
TICKETS: General admission $18.50, seniors/students/military $15.50; available by calling 206-533-2000 or go to www.phoenixtheatreedmonds.com

*Correction, April 13, 2012: This article originally used an incorrect name for Wendy Enden.