Final Interview Review – Someone has to Pay

Gabriel Oliva and Brian Stanton in FINAL INTERVIEW - Photo by Eric Wann
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Written by Gabriel Oliva and directed by Katierose Donahue-Enriquez, FINAL INTERVIEW returns to the Pico Playhouse for two weekends in July 2023. First presented in January 2023, the play was so well-received that a revisit was inevitable. In fact, a film deal is reportedly in the works.

Gabriel Oliva and Brian Stanton – Photo by Eric Wann

An engrossing tale of greed and revenge, corporate-America style, FINAL INTERVIEW is an white-knuckled thriller which will have the audience on the edge of their seats. To quote author Oliva, “I wrote this play in response to the Miami condominium collapse of 2021. Ninety-eight lives were lost, but no one was held accountable. The families of those who died deserve to feel a sense of closure or have justice done. This story is about how two people deal with the trauma of the past when stripped of the corporate armor so many companies are afforded…what does revenge offer? Does it ultimately heal a wound or does it leave it just as open as before?”

Gabriel Oliva and Brian Stanton – Photo by Eric Wann

The place is a corporate office in a high-rise; the time is the present. Clayton (Gabriel Oliva) has just arrived for his final job interview with one of the architectural firm’s “Big Bosses,” Charles (Brian Stanton) – a man lauded in his field as capable of “getting the job done – and under cost.” The stress of a job interview is bad enough, but Charles’ casually pointed questions make it even worse. That is, until there’s a gun pointed at him. FINAL INTERVIEW investigates the effects of corporate avarice and self-indulgence, a world in which “the corporation” may take responsibility for wrong-doing while letting the individuals truly responsible off the hook. While the immediate results of the company’s appetite for wealth may be obvious, what are the long-term effects as the dominos inevitably begin to fall?

Skillfully helmed by Director Donahue-Enriquez, FINAL INTERVIEW is graced with an excellent cast. Kudos to Oliva (who doubles as writer and actor) and Stanton, whose portrayals of the two men caught up in the tragic consequences of a catastrophic building collapse will make your hair stand on end as you lean forward to hear every syllable spoken. Step by step, the tension ramps up to unbearable levels. What will be the outcome of this dangerous encounter? Who will stand, and who will fall?

The production crew also has a hand in making this taut tale live.  From glass framed pictures on the wall to a perpetual motion bauble on the corporate desk, scenic designer Annie Terrazzo keeps an eye on the story’s theme. Helton Najera’s lighting enhances the action. This is a team effort which has succeeded admirably. If you’re a fan of thrillers with tension that builds up to a screaming finale, then you will have your desires more than satisfied by this journey into corporate America – and Everyman’s search for revenge.

FINAL INTERVIEW runs through July 23, 2023, with performances at 8 p.m.; on Friday and Saturday (7/14 and 7/15; 7/21 and 7/22), and at 7 p.m. on Sunday (7/16, 7/23). The Pico Playhouse is located at 10508 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064. Tickets are $35. For information and reservations, go online.


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