Sunday, October 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Everything is fine at ‘Maple and Vine’

maple and vine 2w

From left, Jason Heil, Shannon Mahoney, Stephanie Gularte and Wayne Lee star in "Maple and Vine." Kevin Adamski/Courtesy photo

By
From page A7 | July 16, 2014 |

Check it out
What: “Maple and Vine”
Where: Capital Stage, 2215 J St., Sacramento
When: 7 p.m. Wednesdays; 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; and 2 p.m. Sundays through July 20
Tickets: $22-$36
Info: www.capstage.org
Rating: For mature audiences

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by a world that is filled with hundreds of emails, tweets and Facebook status updates; a world where the 40-hour work week is no more; where many are working 80 hours a week and consider that normal?

Is the stress getting to you, buddy?

Well, Capitol Stage’s “Maple and Vine” by Jordan Harrison, directed by Peter Mohrmann, may be just the escape you need. “May” being the operative word here.

Katha (Stephanie Gularte) an executive with Random House, and Ryu (Wayne Lee), a successful plastic surgeon, are a power couple living in New York but feeling the pressure of their jobs and the emptiness in their lives after Katha’s miscarriage a few months before.

Enter Dean (Jason Heil) and Ellen (Shannon Mahoney), a couple from the Society for Dynamic Obsolescence, a group of 1950s re-enactors who live in their own compound where every day is 1955, there are no cell phones, or computers. A time when wives didn’t worry about finding themselves because their job was to run the house and raise the children while fathers brought in the money.

Ryu is unsure about giving things a try, but Katha is enthusiastic and to save their marriage, he agrees to go along.

Hints of problems surface when Dean and Ellen refer to them as a “mixed-race couple” (Ryu is Japanese, though born in Long Beach) and say they will have to move to an area where mixed-race marriages are tolerated.

“We have everything in microcosm, yes. So there are areas with the spirit of the south and areas that have more the feeling of the north.”

Katha (who changes her name to Kathy to blend in more with the community) and Ryu begin studying 1955 so they can fit in better. They acknowledge that sometimes things will be bad and agree that if they need to remember the 21st century they will use a safe word — they decide on “Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

Ryu gets a job working in a box factory for floor boss Roger (Ryan Snyder), who is forever making references to Ryu’s Japanese ancestry.

The second act is more uneven than the first and sends the audience off in all sorts of directions — sexism, homophobia, racial bigotry. Kathy uncharacteristically instructs the members of her neighborhood about how to be intolerant of her Japanese husband in order to make the 1955 experience more authentic: “We don’t expect flaming crosses on our lawn; that would be out of proportion. But here are some ideas. You might stare at me in the supermarket. You might tell Ryu how much you like Chinese food. Your teenage boys could bang trash can lids outside our house … I know that we’ll be able to find even more ways to give each other an authentic experience.”

The big surprise reveal toward the end of the show comes from left field and leaves one wondering what is going to happen to these people as they grapple with 2014 problems in 1955.

The ensemble for this show is marvelous. Gularte gives an outstanding performance, both as the 2014 executive and the 1955 Stepford-ish wife, embracing all of the simplicity of an earlier time and even embracing the negative aspects of it.

Lee is wonderful as a man with a sardonic secret — that he’s really a plastic surgeon, when everyone else accepts him as a box maker, but so in love with his wife that he’s willing to follow her into this wacky old world.

Heil is a smarmy salesman who has an answer for everything and could sell refrigerators to Eskimos, though he doesn’t always practice what he so eloquently preaches.

Mahoney is a marvelous throw back to June Cleaver, the perfect 50s wife, while hiding a big secret.

Snyder is wonderfully campy in Act 1 as Katha’s gay co-worker, and in Act 2 barely conceals his feelings of superiority to a man he thinks is an Asian refugee unable to do more than put a box together.

This is billed as a comedy, and it is very funny, but it goes beyond comedy into areas you never expect to explore by the time it ends, and will give the audience something to think about long after the final bows have been taken.

Comments

comments

.

News

Howzat! Cricket tradition grows in Davis

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Housing First pilot project targets West Sac homeless

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

Return to sender: MRAP removal options go to council

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
$18.75M grant aims to build global food security

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Cop witnesses car-pedestrian collision

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Hawaii hit by winds, rain as hurricane veers west

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Evidentiary hearing set for man shot by CHP

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Firefighters on the town

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A3

 
Donate used books at Co-op

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Love-life tips on ‘Heart to Heart’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Volunteers sought to chip in on parks cleanup

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Crash victim ID’d as Woodland man

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

 
Senior Computer Club hears from county official

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Guns to be discharged at police range

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

 
DHS ski and snowboard swap set on Nov. 9

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Wolk sets ‘Morning with the Mayor’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Safe viewing of solar eclipse planned

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Fill the Boot for the hungry

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

 
Quiz Master Gardeners at open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Celebrate origami at Davis library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Esparto home targeted in three-city pot bust

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

 
Apply by Friday for Biberstein grants

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Wolk earns perfect score from senior advocates

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

UCD celebrates 50 years of global agricultural success

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Special education information night scheduled

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

Be on the lookout for tagged Monarch butterflies

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A16 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Old news disturbs the present

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Take time to reach out for help

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

Are we there yet? Yik Yakking the day away

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8

 
A bionic hand with feeling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Ain’t Snow Mountain high enough

By Our View | From Page: A14

 
Let’s take Davis’ energy future seriously

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

Teach cyclists to obey laws

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

 
Proposed lights harm kids

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

Water theater isn’t fun

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

 
Elect Granda to board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

Yes on Prop. 47: reasonable changes to curb recidivism, save money

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

 
No on Prop. 47: an end to safe neighborhoods, and more victims

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

Be careful cycling on Fifth

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

 
.

Sports

Competitive Aggies fall at No. 6/7 Montana

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils stick it to Chico, cancer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Vargas emerges from crowded Aggie WR corps

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

JV Devils fall to Franklin

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Niemi leads Sharks to win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

UCD roundup: Big crowd sees Aggies nip Guachos

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

 
Davis is a temple for fine beverages

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Arcadia Biosciences earns spot on global innovation list

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
35 employers will be at West Sac job fair

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Rob White: Building an economy on innovation

By Rob White | From Page: A6

 
.

Obituaries

Sadie Louise Barga

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Morgan Wheeler

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Peggy Belenis Swisher

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, October 19, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8