By Christopher Trela & Catherine Del Casale | NB Indy
One theater plus two actors equals “Act 3,” the comedy-drama that kicks off the New Year at The Laguna Playhouse through January 31.
The play stars comedienne Rita Rudner, who has performed her stand-up act at the Playhouse and penned a play that was performed there several years ago, along with Charles Shaughnessy, who played “Shane Donovan” on “Days of Our Lives” and Maxwell Sheffield on “The Nanny.” Rudner’s husband, Martin Bergman, directed this enjoyable show about two people old enough to know better yet young enough to want more.
In the play, Rudner’s character devises a scheme to unveil her mate’s crumbling sense of fidelity while re-inventing herself as the very person he assumed she never could be.
We attended the opening night performance last weekend, but as we usually do, began our evening with dinner at 370
Common in Downtown Laguna Beach, a pleasant five minute walk from the theater.
Christopher has dined here several times but this was Catherine’s introduction into owner/chef Ryan Adams’ fun American cuisine.
We were seated upstairs with a view of the downstairs dining room. After ordering two signature cocktails, we perused the menu and opted to get a few small plates to share instead of the larger entrees.
We ordered a small plate of short rib grilled cheese, the poutine (French fries smothered with short rib, chive, cheddar cheese, crema and horseradish), charred Brussels sprouts with maple, bourbon, pear, bacon, and walnuts, the baked mac n’ cheese, and the nightly foie gras special, which in this case was seared and served atop two blueberry pancakes.
Catherine’s take on 370: “A great place to stop in before a show. The service was fantastic—quick and able to answer any questions and make great recommendations. I also loved that there is balcony seating which gave it an intimate feel. I’m a big fan of their short rib grilled cheese appetizer that they serve “by the piece,” which gave me a chance to try something while still allowing me room for some of the other great items on the menu. The foie gras with a maple glaze and bacon bits served on top of silver dollar berry pancakes and a boysenberry sauce was phenomenal. The chef has won my trust in whatever special he ever wants to create.”
Full and happy, we were ready to tackle “Act 3.”
“I really enjoyed ‘Act 3,’” said Catherine. “This is a great show to bring both theatergoers and non-theatergoers alike. It was witty, fun and dramatic all wrapped into one. It wasn’t long or drawn out, and was a perfect show you could go to see after dinner on a weeknight. It’s what I like to term an ‘intermission’ play: something that is fun, entertaining and doesn’t tax your mind. I would recommend it to my friends.”
For info on 370 Common, visit 370Common.com.
For tickets to Laguna Playhouse, visit LagunaPlayhouse.com.