Culver City Observer -

Douglas Play Is a Rollicking Experience


October 13, 2011

Meg Sullivan (Annabelle) and her father, Lowell Bartholemee (Brutus) in “I’ve Never Been So Happy” which continues at the Kirk Douglas Theatre until October 23. Photo by Craig Schwartz

Observer Editor

I like country music, so it pleases me that ‘I’ve Never Been So Happy” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre is a two-hour musical with a Western theme.

The near capacity crowd at the Sunday matinee agreed if we can judge from the frequent applause and occasional ovations.

But if you object to raw language that isn’t necessary it may not be for you.

I thought the play would have been better without the four-letter words.

However, I’ve seen a lot of plays at the Kirk Douglas and this one rates very high for just plain fun. You’d have to be a grouch to not join in.

I found the music much better than the plot. A father forbids his teen-age daughter from leaving the house until she gets married. Annabelle Lee, played by Meg Sullivan, points out she won’t be able to meet the right man, and he says he’ll choose him.

She then finds romance with a boy who is tied to a mountain lion, his mother’s idea that he’ll learn how to deal with adversity with that handicap.

We never see the mountain lion except on the big screen at the back of the stage but we see Jeremy (E. Jason Liebrecht) frequently pulling on a rope as he’s dragged along.

And the plot thickens.

Annabelle’s father, Brutus, played by Lowell Bartholomee, adds a lot to the production.

This is a successful return to the Douglas by the Rude Mechs theatre company, which provided last season’s Douglas Theatre hit, “The Method Gun.”

“I’ve Never Neen So Happy” was a hit in its world premiere in Austin, Texas during April and was slightly altered for its run here.

The most obvious way was when Annabelle objects to being restricted to the house by saying “I want adventure. I want to see the world – New York, Paris, Culver City.”

“I’ve Never Been So Happy” will continue at the Douglas Theatre until October 23. It is a DouglasPlus presentation.


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