SACRED FOOLS | MAINSTAGE 2000 - Icarus and Aria

The writer, director & producer of Want's Unwished Work
present a
West Coast Premiere!




by Kirk Wood Bromley
directed by Alexander Yannis Stephano
produced by Allen Lulu

set & lights Burris Jackes
costumes M.E. Dunn
props Stan Freitag

stage manager John Wuchte
asst. stage manager Karimah Tennyson

photo illustration by

On the Sacred Fools Mainstage
July 6 - August 5, 2000
Thur, Fri & Sat at 8pm
Reservations: (310) 281-8337

Glenn A. Barrack Pam Bel Anu Bryan Bellomo
Robert Patrick Brink Michael Caldwell Jim Chevallier Gina Marie Fields Jonathan Goldstein Carolyn Hennesy David Holcomb Kim Jackson Sharon MacMenamin Cristian Olave Shirley Roeca John Rosenfeld Alexandria Sage Edward Symington Matthew Troyer Al Vicente Paul C. Vogt Peter Allen Vogt Rachel Dara Wolfe Peter Zamora


(L. to R.) Matthew Troyer, John Rosenfeld & Kim Jackson

Buy the Script!
"Icarus and Aria"
(15% goes to Sacred Fools!)

(L. to R.) Paul Vogt,  Michael Caldwell, & Peter Vogt



This show is too big, too populated, too sprawling to give you even a hint in this small space of how delightful the entire production is. And by big I don't mean overproduced, as the Sacred Fools Theatre is one of the more intimate spaces in town; I just mean a lot of ground gets covered.

Kirk Wood Bromley's verse play-yes, verse play-is based upon Romeo and Juliet, but there's no way it could be mistaken for a retread. This time the lovers are in present-day Phoenix-"sparkling Phoenix" as it so colorfully put in the script. Icarus (Matthew Troyer) is the Latino star quarterback on the Phoenix Aztechs, and Aria (Kim Jackson) is the Anglo daughter of the team owner. Edward Symington essays this growly bear father role and handles the mixture of crudity and poetry with aplomb.

Icarus is a winsome lad whose opening line, as he is introduced at a press conference, is, "Forgive me, I am shy yet to the press, like a rattler curled from the light." He makes this line sail so easily that the house is in love with him long before Aria. His older brother, Primalo (a captivating John Rosenfeld), has been toughened by circumstance into rather a different sort, and about the only thing these boys share is the family predilection for nice teeth. The lovely performance of Jackson as Aria also has an effective foil in the character of Dina, the chola with a "sweet nunchuck wiggle" and a jones for Icarus. Rachel Dara Wolfe is amazing in this part. To do what she does, and to do it in verse-well, it simply has to be seen.

Other notable performances are Gina Marie Fields as Trinidad, Aria's Nana (her diatribe on panties is priceless), Shirley Roeca as the Medicine Woman (who brings to mind the physical comedy of Art Carney), Pam Bel Anu as the barely functional Mayor Favor, Paul C. and Peter Allen Vogt as a variety of comic twin characters, and Amy Bryson (standing in for the always delicious Carolyn Hennesy) as the trophy wife of Aria's father. Bryson shimmies and schemes with the best of them. Alexander Yannis Stephano clearly and masterfully directs this cast, a group large enough to constitute a small village.The real star, though, is the text. Bromley's use of the language is lovely and very character-specific; never does he seem trapped by the convention of verse, nor do characters end up sounding too high-flown for their station. Most of my notes, in fact, were just eminently quotable lines, but there's no room left to share them here. Go and discover them for yourself.

—Wenzel Jones

The Entertainment Magazine
After Dark
Volume 32 - Issue 13 - August 12, 2000

When it comes to theatre in L.A., there are two things that really bug me. First is the fact that some people think that if a play doesn’t cost $65, it is not real theatre. The second is the unfair statement that L.A. isn’t a theatre town. Wrong on both counts. This week I saw three wonderful productions that would have been a bargain at thrice the price.


Last year I went to see a play called “Want’s Unwished Work” by playwright Kirk Wood Bromley. What made the play outstanding is that it was written in verse, of the iambic pentameter variety. “Want’s” was a loose retelling of Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labours Lost,” taking it in a very off-beat, avant-garde, almost slap-stick direction. The production garnered raves and enjoyed a long, extended run. It was a collaboration of the efforts by producer Allen Lulu, director Alexander Yannis Stephano, and a wonderfully talented and energetic cast made up of the folks at The Sacred Fools Theater Company.

I was very impressed by the overall production and enticed by Bromley’s conceit of revisiting the cherished old style. However, with that production, granted a farce, I thought he was a bit too rambunctious in the style, which diminished the story-telling to more of a good, artistic frenzy than true, artistic fervor. I believe, at the time, that with some self-imposed (or objective) discipline, Bromley would be a major contender in the professional, playwrighting arena. With his latest work, “Icaus and Aria,” I think he has found his discipline.


As with he’s well touted hit of last year, “Want’s Unwished Work,” playwright Kirk Wood Bromley once again borrows inspiration from Shakespeare (“Romeo and Juliet”). With director Alexander Yannis Stephano again at the helm, he presents the West Coast Premiere of “Icarus and Aria.” 

The modern-day, star crossed lovers of the title (a marvelous coupling of Mathew Troyer and Kim Jackson) are from feuding factions. He, a Latino, star quarterback for the Arizona Aztechs with familial ties to the infamous street gang, El Imaginero, via his half-brother Primalo (a dynamic John Rosenfeld), and she, the daughter and darling of the team’s Anglo owner, Jimmy Jones (a powerful Edward Symington). Further interference is run by Aria’s half-brother Jimmy Jr. (David Holcomb) and his own dangerous gang of corporate types. Each fraction comes complete with its racial bigotry, hatreds and complexities. Added to the chaos are the media, always at-the-ready to stir up an already heated situation. Think...rumble.

Within the confines of a tight, realistic drama, Bromley’s verse works wonderfully well. The story line is easy to follow, and the large cast - about 25, though many players do double or triple duty - are as easy to identify in the action. The actors have sharply created defined characters and are well trained in the classic form. Stephano’s staging and flare for theatricality give the play a real sense of style. The drama reaches its pinnacle, with confrontation and gun-play so realistically accomplished that it is quite stunning. With such good performances, it is difficult to point out everyone, but Gina Marie Fields as Trinadad, a sage of sorts to the Jones, and Rachel Dara Wolfe as Aria’s best friend Dina are outstanding. Also, Shirley Roeca shines in a variety of roles.

Burris Jackes’ sprawling set of platforms, stairways and entries as well as his lighting, M.E. Dunn’s very apropos costuming, and J Warner’s sound make up the fine design team. In not many places in town can you see such a solidly produced and performed piece of original theatre for the ticket price of only $10. This is one you should not miss!




At the Sacred Fools Theater in Hollywood, ICARUS AND ARIA, a love story of sorts, makes its west coast premiere.

Icarus Alzaro (Matthew Troyer) is a young Hispanic professional football player for a pro team in Arizona. He falls for Aria Jones (Kim Jackson) a young Anglo woman, who happens to be the daughter of the owner of the team that Icarus plays for. Conflicts arise between the two families, along with other 'players' that go with professional sports: coach, agents, local government officials, hanger-ons, and anybody else who become the package.

Playwright Kirk Wood Bromley creates this tale as one part love story (a la Romeo and Juliet), one part sports tale (i.e. "North Dallas Forty" and countless others), and one part Greek chorus. Much of the dialogue is spken in prose, as if it's some long forgotten poem. (This prose is somewhat lost by the second act). Alexander Yannis Stephano directs the large cast into this story that really isn't a sappy love tale, and it's not a rah-rah blood 'n guts sports fable.

ICARUS AND ARIA is one of the more classy productions performed by The Sacred Fools that this writer has seen! However, don't let 'classy' be confused with 'lavish'. After all, who had said that sports had to be lavish, let alone classy??

-- Rich Borowy