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  The Joy Wheel at Ruskin Group Theatre

The Joy Wheel

Ruskin Group Theatre
3000 Airport Ave. Santa Monica

Life is changing for Frank and Stella. On the night of Frank's retirement party, this once loving and simple couple find themselves pulled in different directions as the winds of change blow through Joy, Illinois. The world is not what it was. Joy is not what it was. Stella is shaken, but inspired, by her best friend becoming a liberated, sexualized, independent woman, while Frank decides to emulate his doomsday prepper friend by building an underground bunker that once was the family swimming pool. Itís as if all of them are riding the Joy Wheel, hanging on to someone else so they can stay their ground.

Thru - Mar 31, 2019

Thursdays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:00pm

Price: $35

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 310-397-3244

  The Joy Wheel Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Broadway World - Highly Recommended

"...McRae has written a most witty, descriptive dialogue for Florek and Hecht to sink their talented teeth into, revealing their connections, their hopes and dreams - all in the opening scene! Very nice! Stella's friend Margie enters after the retirement party, played by the sharp-as-a-pistol Lee Garlington who masterfully spits out her biting lines from McRae."
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Gil Kaan

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...What begins as a hilarious comedy turns dark and serious - ending in a beautifully heartfelt way - as playwright Ian McRae (The Alamo) takes us on a powerful journey in The Joy Wheel, directed by Jason Alexander for The Ruskin Theatre. All four characters are desperately seeking something that will help them feel safe and secure. Their home town of Joy, Illinois, is changing and so is the world. The four are looking for something to hang onto to make their once simple life better, and, with a riveting ensemble, the takeaway will resonate long after play's end."
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Joan Alperin

LA Splash - Highly Recommended

"...THE JOY WHEEL is an uproarious peek into the upside-down life of the Conlins at this tumultuous moment in their existence. Get ready to chuckle, chortle, and even guffaw during this hilarious story of people seeking some new in the old. McRae has penned a raucous, sexy, and hysterical comedy which will entertain and delight. AUDIENCE ALERT: This play is definitely X-rated; keep the kiddies at home."
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Elaine Mura

Will Call - Highly Recommended

"...The only disappointment regarding The Joy Wheel, was the fact that, on my night, the playwright, Ian McRae, was in the audience but they didn't bring him on stage for a curtain call. The cast got their well deserved applause but the author who created this terrific work, was not acknowledged. But this show has legs and it will, undoubtedly, embark on a successful stage journey for many years to come."
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Ingird Wilmot

Total Theater - Recommended

"...I think I've made The Joy Wheel seem a lot more serious and dark than it really is. McRae generally writes with humor and was able to wring lots of laughs out of the audience. He was also capable of writing with touches of warmth and tenderness, particularly in the final scene of the play."
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Willard Manus

Stage Raw - Somewhat Recommended

"...The Joy Wheel is an amiable situation comedy that deals with a crisis in the lives of an older married couple. Written by Ian McRae and directed by Jason Alexander, it's one of those entertainment-minded vehicles that can come off as either a shallow on-stage sitcom, where garnering laughs is the performers' main goal, or, if aptly directed, as an insightful comic portrayal of human fallibility."
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Deborah Klugman

Theatre Notes - Highly Recommended

"...With The Joy Wheel, playwright Ian McRae has crafted a terrific, raucous comedy filled with vividly written characters that conjure up memories of the best of Neil Simon, seasoned with whiffs of the head-butting "Honeymooners," and served up with delicious, outrageous sexual frankness by Jason Alexander's superb direction."
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Gil Kaan

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