Tom Noonan's Paradise Theater Company



Written and Directed by Bryan Wizemann


Paradise Theater

64 E. 4 St, NYC

Tickets: (212) 206-1515 or


March 21 – April 13, 2003


Lights – Tom Weaver

Set Construction – NoProblemo

Press Representation - Sam Rudy Media Relations



Kieran - Kendall Pigg

James - Mark Meyer

Michelle - Eileen O'Connell

Marty - Monique Vukovic

Reagan - Rhonda Keyser

Turner - John Good

Paul - Matthieu Cornillon

There are some times when plays set in even the bleakest of worlds can make for entertaining theater. The Las Vegas poker bar envisioned in Bryan Wizemann’s LOSING GROUND numbers among them.

What works so well about this play is that, not only is it scripted to be performed in real time, it is written so that the characters seem real. They are regular gambling folks with twenty dollars, maybe more, and a dream whose fortunes rise and plummet by the whim of a computerized poker machine in a dank little bar in Nevada. There are, aren’t there, so many people out there like this. Not pathetic, not glorious, but generally status quo, if we never enter their realm, we nary give them a second thought.

LOSING GROUND presents a cast of characters we would expect. There is the bartender, Kieran, who seems to neither love nor loathe his job, the regulars (James, Michelle, Marty and Reagan), and the unusually lucky stranger, Turner, who comes in the bar and causes nothing but trouble for the regulars. James is especially bitter about his losing streak, Michelle and Marty share some crystal meth in the restroom, and the deceptively shrewd Turner sheds his nice guy persona in a short, violent incident.

The ensemble cast hit all of the right notes with their respective performances, and the set and lighting give the feeling of a real bar. Overall, LOSING GROUND works. It may not leave you smiling, but it is not supposed to.

- Kessa De Santis -