Judy Carter’s new comedy, A Death-Defying Escape, now playing at the Hudson Guild Theatre, demands a plethora of superlatives—amazing, brilliant, achingly funny, powerfully tragic, with eye-popping magic tricks— oh, I could go on! Ms. Carter engages the audience with the very personal story of her life as a child growing up as a Jewish girl in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Her family life was fraught with difficulties; a sister born with tragic, unfortunate disabilities, a feckless mother, a fretful, worrisome, immigrant grandmother, and a cruel, self-centered, abusive father. She loved her sister and was devastated when her parents abandoned her sister in an institutional home. Her one relief was magic. She started to learn magic as a single-digit child doing card tricks for birthday parties. She gained notoriety and was profiled in the Los Angeles Times.
As Judy tells her story, she always comes back to demonstrating her magical prowess to a very appreciative, audience. She is assisted by Kevin Scott Allen and Lyndsi LaRose who play a number of characters throughout the show. As the show progresses it becomes clear that her father, played by Mr. Allen, is a boo-hiss villain. Allen is also touching as Judy’s Grandmother. Ms. LaRose also plays multiple roles, most significantly as a younger woman who helps Judy come out as a gay woman. As is often expected in a magic show, Kevin and Lyndsi assist in some of the more demanding demonstrations of magical prowess.
Throughout the show, Judy demonstrates her skill as a magician to an astounded audience. The show takes place in the Hudson Guild’s smallest theatre, so the audience can see the magic closeup–not in a big house, not on television. And the audience is thrilled with the magic and the comedy. This is one of those times when “you just gotta see this show!!”
A Death-Defying Escape is written by Judy Carter and directed by Lee Costello. It is produced by Gabrieal Griego and presented by Comedy Workshop Productions. Magic design is by Craig Dickens. A Death-Defying Escape runs though May 15 and streams April 9 to May 15. Performances are on Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm through May 15 at Hudson Guild Theatre 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038
If you would like more details about Judy Carter, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_Carter