Cost of Living

Written by Martyna Majok
Directed by John Vreeke
Produced by Deborah Culver, James Bennett, Simon Levy, Stephen Sachs
Starring Tobias Forrest, Xochitl Romero, Felix Solis, Katy Sullivan - Understudy: Eileen Grubba

CRITIC’S CHOICE! – Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles Times – Best Theater of 2018 – Charles McNulty – December 11, 2018

RAVE!Los Angeles TimesCRITIC’S CHOICE! – “‘COST OF LIVING’ HAS FOUND AN IDEAL HOME AT FOUNTAIN THEATRETwo of the best productions this fall have happened at intimate theaters that are keeping up with the exciting developments in American playwriting… a production that is on par with the Mark Taper Forum and the Geffen Playhouse at their best… The production, scrupulously directed by John Vreeke, balances discretion with daring exposure… The beauty of the play resides in the fleeting tenderness that emerges when guards are momentarily let down… THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE STORY – A TALE OF NEED AND SELFISH PRIDE, RESENTMENT AND RESILIENCE – SHINES THROUGH.” – Charles McNulty

RAVE!Stage Raw – “RECOMMENDED!The Fountain Theatre has its finger on the pulse of new and exciting American theatre… Intimate and unsentimental… Cost of Living manages to depict humanity at its most vulnerable. None of the characters are victims, nor do they elicit sympathy of any sort. They’re flawed, struggling, trying their best to get by and take care of those they love. They struggle to create meaningful, dignified connections with one other but mostly remain lonely. It’s deeply, hauntingly familiar… COMPLETELY ENGAGING!” – Dana Martin

RAVE!Ticket Holders LA – “BRILLIANT!All four actors are superb and Majok’s dialogue is equally as tough and hard and relentless as they are, yet her genius for blue-collar drama is continuously underscored by a lyricism and a poetic quality that makes her play, indelibly aided by the Fountain’s usual impressively loving and beautifully designed production values, and director John Vreeke’s sturdy, literally in-your-face staging, AN INSTANT CLASSIC.” – Travis Michael Holder

RAVE!Cultural Weekly – “OUTSTANDINGSOME KIND OF MEMORABLE!a stunning example of the kind of magic four good actors, able or disabled, can achieve when they’re handed a good director and A REMARKABLE PIECE OF WRITING… The director is John Vreeke, who mostly has been active with Washington DC area theatres and Woolly Mammoth in particular. He handles Majok’s emotionally loaded piece with the tenderness, humor and care it cries out forCost of Living is an unsentimental play about difficult and complex emotions, as recognizable as your face in the mirror. We’ve probably all felt them in some form at one time or another, and Majok captures them like fireflies in a jar. What’s outstanding about her brand of eloquence is that it conveys all this with very few words, most of them not altogether coherent, except that what’s unsaid comes through in a confusion of funny and loud and clear. She makes us see the beauty and the longing of these people in their inability to articulate. That rubs very close to the bone. No wonder Cost of Living won so many major accolades, including the Pulitzer Prize.” — Sylvie Drake

RAVE!People’s World – “COURAGEOUS… The acting is among the best I have seen in recent theatre outings…. John Vreeke’s direction is flawless… The Fountain deserves a big, colorful bouquet for this one. CATCH IT IF YOU CAN.” — Eric Gordon

RAVE! – “MEANINGFULPROVOCATIVEENTERTAINING… Pulitzer Prize winning, Polish-born playwright Majok is a master of capturing emotions. She writes so well, the audience immediately develops genuine affection both for the disabled and the people who look after them. THE CAST IS EXTRAORDINARY, under the sensitive direction of John Vreeke. Sullivan, in real life, is an Olympic competitor and record setting champion in the Paralympics in London in 2012. She was in the original cast in the Williamstown production. Romero plays the gentle but firm person we’d all want in a caregiver. Solis has an impressive resume in stage, screen and TV work. As for Forrest, he is so perfect, the part could have been written for him. He uses a wheelchair as a result of a spinal injury… The Fountain Theatre, they say, is the only destination for which Westside theater lovers will cross east of La Cienega and for good reason. The Fountain delivers, time after time, with meaningful, provocative and entertaining material just like this show and deserves our support and patronage. SEE YOU THERE!” – Ingrid Wilmot

RAVE!Total Theater – “FOUR STARSSPLENDID PRODUCTION… The actors bring Majok’s play to life in fearless, bold fashion.  The director, John Vreeke, and the Fountain Theater itself, are also to be commended  for the way they have supported diversity in theatre with this splendid production.” — Will Manus

RAVE!Splash Magazines – “POWERFUL!SATISFYING AND MEMORABLE… Skillfully directed by John Vreeke, Cost of Living is – as one audience member summarized – intense and authentic… a heartfelt, provocative story which draws the audience in with an unsentimental and yet unexpectedly funny account of connection and communication… Playwright Martyna Majok has created a formidable tale about facing reality, even if that reality is bleak, with a sense of humor and unexpected chuckles.” – Elaine Mura

RAVE!StageSceneLA – “WOW!POWERFUL WEST COAST PREMIERE… John Vreeke merits highest marks for his incisive direction… It would be a major coup for any SoCal regional house to snag the rights to Martyna Majok’s latest. (The 661-seat Geffen gave her Ironbound its West Coast Premiere in February.) That it’s a 99-seater giving Angelinos their first look at Cost Of Living is a much deserved vote of confidence in The Fountain Theatre, one that pays off as ONE OF THE YEAR’S MOST REMARKABLE, COMPELLING PRODUCTIONS LARGE OR SMALL.” – Steven Stanley

RAVE!Santa Monica Daily Press – “REMARKABLE!ONE OF THE BEST PLAYS I’VE EVER SEEN!… The play, with all its funny, intelligent, and engrossing talk would seem to indicate where it will all end up. But it doesn’t. It leads its players, and its audience, into a provocative contemplation of human need, and how one might construct a life in spite of being alone, incapacitated, and unfulfilled. And this incredibly gifted ensemble, under the powerful direction of John Vreeke, will leave you hopeful and exhilarated, and maybe just a bit more attuned to the people in your life.” – Cynthia Citron

Achingly human and surprisingly funny, Cost of Living is about the forces that bring people together and the realities of facing the world with physical disabilities. It challenges us to re-think the true meaning of abled and disabled, whole and damaged. By shattering stereotypes, it reveals how deeply we all need each other.

Note: This production includes partial male nudity.

Tobias Forrest, Xochitl Romero, Felix Solis, Katy Sullivan
Understudy: Eileen Grubba (November 12, 23 & 24)

Director – John Vreeke
Set – Tom Buderwitz
Video – Nick E. Santiago
Lights – John Garofalo
Sound – Jeff Polunas
Costumes – Shon LeBlanc
Props/Set Dressing – Terri Roberts
Production Stage Manager – Emily Lehrer
Technical Director – Scott Tuomey

BID program ad rev 2-web

Cost of Living


Los Angeles Times – Best Theater of 2018 – Charles McNulty – December 11, 2018

Santa Monica Daily Press – Review – November 29, 2018

Total Theater – Review – November 14, 2018

Stage Raw – Review – November 13, 2018

People’s World – Review – November 13, 2018

Los Angeles Times – Review – November 12, 2018

Splash Magazines – Review – November 10, 2018 – Review – November 10, 2108

BroadwayWorld – Martyna Majok at the Fountain Theatre – November 7, 2018

@This Stage LA – “Immigration Crises, Through a Polish Lens: Martyna Majok’s “Cost of Living” at the Fountain” – November 7, 2018

Cultural Weekly – Review – November 7, 2018

Ticket Holders LA – Review – November 7, 2018

KRLA Radio Interview w/Katy Sullivan and Tobias Forrest – November 6, 2018

BroadwayWorld – Press Release – September 17, 2018

New York Times – ‘Cost of Living’ Will Become a Musical – July 12, 2018