No-Fault’s West Coast Premiere Extended
by Jesse Kapp

Following its debut at NYC’s Fringe Fest, Christie Perfetti’s No-Fault: A Tale of the Big D in the Big Apple continues its West Coast Premiere with an extended run at Asylum Lab in Hollywood.

The one-act play follows the trials and tribulations of a young unnamed New York woman frantically trying to put the pieces back together after her short marriage comes to an abrupt end. Stefany Northcutt shines in the lead role, taking us through the many stages of grief at breakneck speed while her character tries to reconcile her untrustworthy emotional barometer against the dizzying advice of the people in her life. And of course everyone has to chime in; parents, friends, a psychic and a priest all try with varying success to help ease her pain. Even the awkward but charming waiter at her go-to restaurant shares his sage musings. Group therapy sessions with other newly single women offer a particularly ingenious look at our lead’s fractured, wounded psyche. The other women share their thoughts and feelings about their own situations, giving us a look at how rage, desperation, resignation, and even forgiveness can emanate so strongly from a broken heart.

The entire cast shines in their roles and frequently reminds both the audience and the lead that there is much humor and positive energy to be found in even our darkest moments. They offer their own experiences and provoke the young woman to make the most of her period of intense self-evaluation. Her parents, played by Jinny Wilcott and Jack Seal, steal every scene they’re in with brilliant performances. They offer words of support that are hilariously misguided one minute and miraculously on point the next, reaching across a tenuous generational rift to console in the way that only a parent can.

Perfetti’s writing is witty and assured, seeking to get to the heart of things in a well-worn narrative arc that could have easily veered too far into overwrought cliché. Director Stefan Lysenko confidently keeps the production on the rails as it speeds along with characters seamlessly coming in and out of the young woman’s life. Credit as well to Mark Baker’s lighting design, which helps greatly in bringing the relatively small stage into the wide scope of New York life. The intimate setting of Asylum Lab is an excellent venue for this type of work, helping Perfetti’s words to truly hit home.

No Fault runs through Dec. 18 with Thursday and Friday shows at 8pm and Sunday shows at 7pm. Asylum Lab is located at 1078 Lillian Way in Hollywood. General admission $20, seniors/students $15. For reservations call (323) 960-7612 or go to www.plays411.com/nofault

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