If the presidential debates, the tons of mudslinging junk mail and the hours of insidiously twisted TV commercials haven't turned you off to politics, or if you relish the sliminess of a well-oiled politician like a 10-year-old appreciates icky green gobs of who-knows-what, then venture into Herman Daniel Farrell III's world of New York politics. Here, power plays make strange "Bedfellows."
Pondering who the real politicos are, Farrell has created a play of sly revelations that is given a skillful, seamless interpretation at the Skylight Theatre.
Vying for a congressional seat vacant because of the incumbent's recent demise, politicians play musical beds to the tune of shaky alliances and vacillating loyalties. The mini-convention is only hinted at offstage and the back-room deals with behind-the-scenes players are Farrell's focal point.
The deceased congressman's wife (Peggy Schoditsch)--who hides an intriguing secret--a Latino (Hector Mercado) and an African American (Brent Jennings) all compete for the support of the local leaders: Dan Kelley (Richard Gant) and Jimmy McCarthy (Bryan Clark). Meanwhile, a veteran reporter (understudy Karl Wiedergott replacing Paul Collins last Saturday) and his young intern (Peter Levine) attempt to discover or create "the truth."
Chris Fields directs with a light hand and his talented cast gives layered, intelligent performances as basically good people caught up in a high-stakes game.
* "Bedfellows," Skylight Theatre, 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. Fridays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 and 7 p.m. Ends Nov. 24. $12.50-$15. (213) 466-1767. Running time: 2 hours.