“Premeditation” Film Noir on Stage at the LATC

Evelina Fernandez and Sal Lopez (Photo by Ed Krieger)

By Bel Hernandez

The world premiere of the dark comedy Premeditation by Evelina Fernandez bowed to a full house on April 19th at the Los Angeles Theater Center and runs until May 11th.  Premeditation does not take its self seriously.  But it does address some serious issues, but enough to put a hit on your husband?

As the play opens the mood is set with the actors literally dressing the set to Urbanie Lucero’s fluid choreography.  It’s a sparse stage and we are taken into the 1940’s — the clothing, the hair, music, and even the lighting.  The mood is broken as we find ourselves simultaneous eavesdropping on two bickering couples.  On one side we have the affluent couple.  Fernando (Geoffrey Rivas), is a UCLA college professor and Esmeralda (Evelina Fernandez) his bored socialite wife with way too much time on her hands.  Mauricio (Sal Lopez) and Lydia (Lucy Rodriguez) on the other hand are your typical hit man and his foul mouth wife with the bleached pompadour hair.  Both husbands are being read the riot act.

In this highly stylized piece, we find ourselves in the 1940’s and only for a second do we wonder why all the characters have cell phones, but the audience doesn’t dwell because the plot thickens.  Esmeralda decides that after decades of putting up with her husband, who doesn’t even look up from his newspaper when she is talking to him, or pick up his underwear from the floor, she has finally had enough. It’s time to get rid of him. She picks up her cell phone and calls the Mauricio, the highly recommended hit man.

It all takes place at the Shangri-La Hotel. With all the twist and turns of a 1940’s crime romance (well almost crime), the intrigue is palpable.  The characters bare their souls; confess their crimes, sins and faults.  And Mauricio comes to understand that there is more than the underwear on the floor for Esmeralda wanting to have Fernando killed.

(L-R) Lucy Rodriguez, Geoffrey Rivas, Evelina Fernandez  & Evelina Fernandez (photo: Ed Kreieger

The final scene showdown happens in the hotel room where Esmeralda and Mauricio plot.  Fernando and Lydia who found out about their spouses meeting place, coincidently through their cell phones, walk in them as they find themselves in a compromising position.

PremeditaionUnder the direction of Jose Luis Valenzuela the actors do a terrific job of playing their characters’ reality in such a convincing way that the audience can empathize with them — the plotting wife, the hit man, and even his trash-talking wife.  The only odd man out is the intended victim.  Fernando’s only crime was being boring and uninterested and who wants to empathize with that?

We all have spouses that do little annoying things, but hiring a hit man, when divorce not enough? I’ll take Premeditation instead.

The play runs until May 11, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 3:00pm.

Bringing a richness to the production were set designer by Francois-Pierre Couture; wardrobe by Naila Aladdin Sanders; sound design by John Zalewski, and lighting and projection design by Pablo Santiago.

General Admission | $40
Students, seniors, Veterans, Groups 10+ | $20
$10 Thursdays (Limited number available)
To Purchase tickets CLICK HERE  https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/9885718

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