God's Ear

God's Ear, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; $15-$20. Resurrection Theatre at California Stage, 2509 R Street; (916) 223-9568; www.resurrectiontheatre.com. Through May 30.
Rated 3.0

God’s Ear is a story of grief: grief over the death of a young child, grief expressed by a mother surrounded by memories, grief expressed by a father fleeing from his grief, grief at home, grief at airports, grief at bars. Grief expressed through short emphatic statements makes up the dialogue of God’s Ear, by Jenny Schwartz.

God’s Ear is an edgy, nonconforming drama that gives voice to the pain and agony of parents after the tragic death of their young son leaves them bereaved and confused on how to deal with their emotions—both as parents and as a couple. The couple, though sometimes sitting side by side, never speak face to face. They speak over the phone—with Mel, the mother, taking care of their daughter and dealing with the daily reminders of their son, while father Ted is traveling on business which allows him to bury his grief under meetings, drink and women.

The play is both fascinating and frustrating. Schwartz eloquently and cleverly drops the curtain on inner pain, but also adds elements that are needless and distracting, such as bringing the Tooth Fairy and G.I. Joe to life, or inserting quirky songs.

Resurrection Theatre, known for its willingness to tackle eccentric, bold plays, brings its usual creativity to this production, along with a most memorable and heart-wrenching performance by Kellie Yvonne Raines as the mother wracked by grief. Ed Gyles Jr. supports her with his solid portrayal of a distracted-but-grieving father. Clever set designs include walls with cascading pillows, action figures and suitcases, along with phones dangling from the ceiling.