Twilight Los Angeles 1992 rivals reality

Benjamin Garcia

There are plays such as Romeo and Juliet that are too fantastic to be believable; then there are some such as Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 ( written by Anna Deavere Smith and Directed by Brandt Reiter) that are to real to be beautiful.

In short, the play currently being put on by the theater arts department is the ugliest thing one might see put on at Cerritos College if they stick to their ed plans and only stay for four semesters; tied with Women of Juarez.

What Women of Juarez and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 share — and furthermore, what makes them great and worthwhile — is their quality that is eye opening,heart breaking and gut wrenching.

The show discusses the 1992 Los Angeles riots resulting from the Rodney King beating by LAPD.

One’s petty personal issues — interpersonal conflicts, not having the latest iPhone or being able to only fit into athletic sandals and basketball shorts — they are all so trivial in perspective to the bitterness of racial tensions illustrated in the play, similar to those that are on the rise again.

You should see the play because it is honest.

You should see the play because it is real life.

You should see the play because your life and your priorities will truly be put in perspective.

To write a review that Hemingway would be proud of — it is a good play, but not a great play.

Though as mentioned, it does have a certain quality.

Part of that quality is its decided sense of dignity — perhaps echoing the fact that all people deserve to be treated with dignity.

This dignity is shown in how the costumes and set are simple and practical — so as to not make a spectacle out of a tragedy.

The actors start the first scene dressed in all black; sitting in two rows, one on either side of the stage, with one rack of costumes behind each row.

For most of the play, the stage is set with only a simple table, chair, coffee table and stool. When this is not so — such as in one of the final scenes — it is a dining table with a simple spread, with a few chairs and candles.

These simple costumes and sets are excellent. They bring the essence of the setting and characters onto the stage without outshining the core message.

According to Cerritos.edu, the play is “comprised of over forty verbatim interviews by the playwright Anna Deveare Smith.a verbatim retelling.”

Despite the script not having a traditional plot of decisive conclusion, the show is extremely watchable.

It is not about acting. It is about the actor’s ability to empathize with the entirety of mankind, a species that has constantly found itself in the midst of tensions between communities for no logical reasion — only hate.

The play is not carried by one single actor, being that it is written for an ensemble cast — it features a well-rounded cast of characters that are given equal attention, without making the scenes too grey.

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 is a must-see; because it is a prayer for our species and a cultural blessing for Cerritos College.