It’s Only a Play Review

Altarena Playhouse Instagram -- Altarena will perform four shows of the renowned off-Broadway play, It’s Only a Play, this weekend at Altarena Playhouse. (Altarena’s It’s Only a Play cast at a recent show).

It’s Only a Play Review

I had the good fortune to see a dress rehearsal of It’s Only a Play on August 20 at the Altarena Playhouse’s fascinating theater (1409 High St.). This iteration of Terrence McNally’s renowned 1982 off-Broadway play was directed by Altarena’s artistic director Katina Psihos Lerheule.

This comedic play opens with an older woman producer throwing a party for an engaging playwright at her Manhattan penthouse. The party is to celebrate the opening night of the playwright’s Broadway play, The Golden Egg. However, after the play’s long first act, critics might think it’s a rotten egg. There were drinks for guests, but upstairs a seductive tiny silver bowl lured the anxious partygoers — keep an eye on the silver bowl.

We meet the party goers in the producer's upstairs bedroom: an English director with a title; the leading actress in the play, who offers pills to anyone interested; a young man bringing and taking coats; and other eccentric guests. A muted dog growls occasionally behind a door — keep your eye on the growling dog who is a needed distraction, adding zest to show.

The stars of this show, the two leading ladies, wear gold sequined dresses, while the men are dressed in stunning black suits. The Altarena play stars Louis Schilling, Kelly Rinehart Pitts, Jake Gleason, Reg Clay, Max Thorne, Alicia McCauley, and Ronnie Anderson.

This is a resounding and hilarious show you will not want to miss. Altarena will host shows of It’s Only a Play from Sept. 8 through 11 (the shows from Sept. 8-10 start at 8 p.m., while the Sept. 11 show starts at 2 p.m.). Tickets are $27 for seniors and students and $30 for adults. To purchase tickets, visit To view schedules for other Altarena plays, visit

The Altarena Playhouse began in 1938 as the Alameda Little Theatre. It has continued on its course of providing theatrical entertainment for over 75 years. Altarena is one of the oldest continuously operating community theatres in the Bay Area.