Thespian Thoughts – “Clean House:” “If you do not clean, how do you know if you make progress in life”



“If you do not clean, how do you know if you make progress in life”

The International City Theater presents the stage production of “Clean House.” The play’s writer, Sarah Ruhl, has received a great amount of attention, Clean House, “Won the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, awarded annually to the best English-language play written by a women and it was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.” In an interview, Ruhl says, “I like to see people speaking ordinary words in strange places, or people speaking extraordinary words in ordinary places.” Within this stage show, Ruhl composes a very clever and extremely hilarious story about a group of people; their interaction takes place inside a home where these characters, together, deal with love, tragedy and the power of a good joke. The play flows with beautiful choreography and I highly recommend it, especially if you want to laugh, a lot.

Caryn Desai directs “Clean House” and her excellence shows throughout the play. Desai “is an award-winning director with awards and nominations from LA Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly, Drama Logue, Robby, Ovation, and NAACP for her productions.” After I read the biography on the director, I knew I was in for a treat and was very excited to watch the story unfold. Desai says, “There’s always a fine line between comedy and tragedy and it’s an especially treacherous balancing act in this play.”

I found myself laughing throughout the whole show, even after a tragic event. The characters find the humor and make jokes to lighten up the mood, but not in a disrespectful way. This allows the audience to take very serious subject matters, and switch negative feelings to joyful ones. The actors do a great job of successfully conveying this with such ease.

It’s a pleasure to watch the five actors who grace the stage. Their performance feels so real, it’s as if they put it together, unscripted. This makes for a really unique and a very real experience. The group of actors in this play are; Rob Roy Cesar, Kathy Bell Denton, Eileen Galindo, Nadia Nardini, and Caryn West. They all bring talent and charisma to the stage.

The play “Clean House” should definitely not be missed, especially if you’re feeling a bit sad or confused, there’s nothing better than listening to a good joke and just laughing. This play brings that and definitely left me walking to my car laughing and brightened up my day. Let it brighten up yours!

A perfect joke is somewhere in between an angel and a fart.

Clean House crew members:
Stephen Gifford (set designer)
Chris Kittrell (Light and Sound Design)
Kim DeShazo (Costume Designer)
Gordon and Patty Briles (Resident Property Designers)
Shashin Desai (Artistic Director/Producer)
Michael Donovan, CSA (Resident Casting Director)
Pat Loeb (Production Stage Manager)

International City Theater presents:
“Clean House”
By: Sarah Ruhl

Runs: Thursdays through Sundays
For performance schedule, visit:

Closing: Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 2:00pm

Location: International City Theater
Long Beach Performing Arts Center
300 East Ocean Blvd, Long Beach CA 90802

Tickets: Ranges from $32-$42. Check online for specifics.
Reservations: (562) 436-4610

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