Lonely Planet, at California Stage, is a moving little drama about AIDS.
It’s a compassionate, two-character drama about friendship and courage in difficult times. The story takes place in a single location—an out-of-the-way map shop on an old street in a city somewhere in America. Jody (Peter Mohrmann) runs the business, with frequent interruptions from the talkative Carl (David Harris).
Playwright Dietz uses simple metaphors—maps of the world and old, discarded chairs—to create resonant images onstage and between your ears, opportunities director Martha Omiyo Kight adeptly develops in this community production.
Mohrmann quietly turns a seemingly everyday moment—holding the telephone, waiting while “on hold"—into a pivotal moment (given context), a beautiful bit of understated acting. And Harris, sitting alone in the map shop as the lights go down at the end, uses mute silence as effectively as he’d earlier used gab. —