Derlirious Cast PhpgpDelirious LA Weekly Review

Nick Richfield is a Beverly Hills rich kid with nothing on his mind but spending Dad’s ill-begotten dough. He throws a cocaine party in Dad’s pleasure palace while the old man is off in Palm Springs. It’s one of those nightmares that drags on until dawn, when hateful people tell the truth about each other and disappear for hours in strange pairs, and when nothing makes sense but heightening the senses and making it through the night. For neophyte playwright J. Bunzel, barely out of college himself, this descent into the cocaine jungle symbolizes the selfish materialism of his own generation’s high-rolling low-life — brain dead, and with the emotional juices of a mummy. The “pack of pink-faced assholes” that inhabits this dark, comic world is so oblivious to anything in life but money, success and getting high, it’s almost impossible to hear the anguished cry for love Bunzel believes is at the root of their greed. The play is a remarkable effort for a young writer. The material is dead on target, the dialogue absolutely right, the satirical humor penetrating — and the ending, bleak and pat as it may be, is chilling nonetheless.

The production is nearly flawless. Ron Link has directed an extraordinary cast at the breakneck paranoid pace of life in the white-line fast lane, and respond by giving their all. Stephen Nichols as a lonely bisexual, Dan Gerrity as a violent unemployed actor, and Peter Frechette as a bank teller living parasitically above his means are all outstanding. The set, a city-view dreamhouse designed by Gerry Hariton and Vicki Baral, is incredibly opulent.

– Michael Lassell