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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Juggling Jobs and a Baby

‘Living Out’ sets the price for status

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Boulevard Theatre ends its season with a thought-provoking look at class differences, “the price” of status and the sacrifices made in trying to balance work and family in Living Out. Lisa Loomer’s play centering on a nanny from El Salvador caring for a well-to-do couple in Los Angeles speaks to a larger audience as many face the same issues today.

Director Beth Monhollen moves the eight-member ensemble through a series of short scenes in a way that holds our attention while giving us insight into how immigrants can view American culture and its idiosyncrasies. Boulevard has been a local pioneer in bringing new talent to the stage. Among the fresh faces, Marion Araujo is a multi-talented standout as the hardworking, vulnerable Ana, who tries desperately to please everyone but herself. In a return to Milwaukee’s stages, Nigel Wade perfectly complements Araujo as her stereotypical husband, yet balances his toughness with tenderness. The two are a joy to watch in all of their scenes.

Rachel Lewandowski and Jason Will also fare well as the wealthy couple pulled apart by jobs and a new baby, relying more and more on Ana with tragic consequences (no spoilers here). Barbara Weber is completely believable as the older, hard-bitten nanny in the park providing a number of laughs at the expense of her absent employers.

There are no easy answers in Living Out. But then, that’s pretty how much life works anyway.

Living Out runs through May 12, at Boulevard Ensemble Studio Theatre, 2252 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. For tickets, call 414-744-5757 or visit boulevardtheatre.com.

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