Andy Garcia is the Eye of the Storm as ‘Key Largo’ World Premieres at the Geffen

Andy García in Key Largo at The Geffen. Photo:Yann Rabanier
By E.M. Fredric

Key Largo based on the classic Humphrey Bogart-Lauren Bacall film and the reimagined version of Maxwell Anderson’s blank verse play, lionizes producer, co-writer and star Andy Garcia. The play was originally produced in 1939 and the film was hulled from there.

This iteration is co-written by Jeffrey Hatcher, co-produced by Frank Mancuso with Andy Garcia and directed by Doug Hughes as a vehicle that spotlights Andy Garcia’s head mobster Johnny Rocco.Originally the focus in the film was on McCloud played by Bogart but here the target shifts to Rocco as Andy Garcia snares Edward G. Robinson’s shoes with stiletto ease. Garcia is on fire in both acts and is the main reason to visit the Geffen to see Key Largo. The Academy Award Nominee proves he’s an unstoppable beast on stage, profoundly immersed into the character and adding to the apocalyptic atmosphere of the play as its main fire and dragon against the impending hurricane. He dominates every scene he’s in.

Joely Fisher is a welcomed pained yet comic relief who leaves us begging for harlot Gayle Dawn to be given more to do. She’s pitch perfect as the boozy has-been with a worn sexuality that reveals how she once sizzled and popped as a lounge singer.
If any fans are looking for the chemistry of a Bogie and Bacall—you’ll have to see the film to experience those pheromones in action.

The words aren’t there for the actors to connect. There’s too much exposition unless Garcia or Fisher are on stage. Each of the supporting characters have moments that require the director to tighten the action, direct more business to witness or for the writers to add dialogue that helps them flesh out and have us stand up.

If you love Andy Garcia it’s well worth the ticket. He consistently proves that he’s an actor that can morph and command at will. It’s no easy feat to leap into famous roles but Garcia succeeds.

The production closes Dec. 10th at the Geffen Playhouse, Gil Cates Theater, 10886 Le Conte Ave., L.A.Tickets prices range from $30-$155. Call (310) 208-5454 or visit, to reserve your seats. Running time is two hours (one intermission).

E.M. Fredric joins Brooklyn & Boyle as an Associate Editor and is a very welcome addition to a venerable team of community-based contributing writers. We are pleased to be working alongside her and are grateful for her energy and dedication. Her award winning short film, Shorty & Morty and more of her work can be seen or read on her website:  Follow her onTwitter & Instagram: @EvaMarieFredric - FB: Eva-Marie Fredric


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