Madeline HD Brown and Louis Parnell appear in 3 Girls Theatre’s local premiere of “Entanglement.” (Courtesy Mario Parnell)

Madeline HD Brown and Louis Parnell appear in 3 Girls Theatre’s local premiere of “Entanglement.” (Courtesy Mario Parnell)

3 Girls Theatre’s ‘Entanglement’ takes on the whole world

3Girls Theatre’s production of AJ Baker’s “Entanglement” onstage at Z Below opens with Emma Howard (Madeline HD Brown) attempting to cajole her former drama professor and lover Luke Pine (Louis Parnell) into directing her first play, titled “Entanglement.”

Cozying up to Pine at The Green Room, a seedy Tenderloin theater bar, she explains that it’s about choice: “How every choice we make, for our bodies and our souls, inevitably alters the whole world.”

Luke laughs her off, calling it “a lot to take on in your first play — the whole world … I hope you didn’t give up your day job.”

Howard may not be up to the task, but Baker, 3 Girls Theatre’s resident playwright, co-founder and producing artistic director, certainly is.

In her play within a play, she manages to explore the quantum mechanics behind humanity’s interconnectivity in a manner that’s intelligent, accessible and enjoyable.

Worthy first effort or not, Howard convinces Pine to direct her play, which she announces will premiere at the San Francisco Fringe Festival.

She will star in the romantic drama, in the role of Kat, a woman wronged by her partner Doug, played by her real-life husband Rob (Chad Deverman).

Luke enlists the help of his daughter Jeri (Heather Gordon) as assistant director.

As the play unfolds, we discover how each character’s past and present actions continue to affect their counterparts.

Most of the two-hour play takes place in a tiny, run-down black box theater in the Tenderloin, on a sparse set that puts focus on the four fascinating characters, brought to life by talented actors.

Brown, as Emma (a wife and mother of two who can’t escape her past relationship with Luke), credibly alternates between adoration and aggression.

Parnell, also the show’s director, is endearing as Luke, the aging stage star who seems to take little pleasure in anything.

Deverman brings a suave sophistication to Rob, Emma’s emasculated husband who left a successful acting career behind to run a construction company, but is now getting his mojo back on stage.

Gordon is a chameleon, morphing into every character she undertakes, including that of Jeri, Luke’s highly defensive, wisecracking daughter.

Memorable performances are buoyed by Baker’s uplifting story, which touches on human interactions, foibles and challenges of many kinds — love, infidelity, pregnancy, abortion, childhood vaccination and cancer — and the ongoing presence of hope, for better or for worse.

REVIEW
Entanglement
Presented by 3 Girls Theatre
Where: Z Below, 470 Florida St,, S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, plus 2 p.m. Sundays and Dec. 17; closes Dec. 17
Tickets: $35
Contact: (866) 811-4111, www.zspace.org/entanglement3Girls TheatreAJ BakerChad DevermanEntanglementHeather GordonLouis ParnellMadeline HD BrownTheater

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Agnes Liang, who will be a senior at Mission High School, is running for one of the two student representative seats on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Turbulent year on school board leaves student delegates undeterred

Around this time last year, Shavonne Hines-Foster and Kathya Correa Almanza were… Continue reading

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Three people killed in SF shootings in less than 24 hours

San Francisco police were scrambling Saturday to respond to a series of… Continue reading

Muni operator Angel Carvajal drives the popular boat tram following a news conference celebrating the return of the historic F-line and subway service on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Mayor, transit officials celebrate return of Muni service

Mayor London Breed and city transit officials gathered Friday to welcome the… Continue reading

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference about a $12 billion package bolstering the state’s response to the homelessness crisis at the Kearney Vista Apartments on May 11, 2021 in San Diego, California. (K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
Newsom promises sweeping change in California’s $267-billion budget

John Myers Los Angeles Times California would embark on the most ambitious… Continue reading

Most Read