Maggie McKay Reviews Key Largo at The Geffen

November 20, 2019
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Andy Garcia....right there you know this is going to be good! Key Largo was originally a play by Maxwell Anderson in 1939 then came the classic film directed by John Huston in 1948 starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Now the world premiere adaptation of Key Largo is in full swing at The Geffen Playhouse in Westwood. Andy Garcia not only stars in it but produced, co-wrote and co-adapted the play. The cast is top tier with Joely Fisher, who nails her role as does Danny Pino, Tony Plana, Richard Riehle, Rose McIver, Stephen Borrelo just to name a few. ​

From the moment you walk in and see the detailed, authentic beautiful set designed by John Lee Beatty to the original music composed by none other than 10 time Grammy award winner Arturo Sandoval,  you can't wait to see what's in store. This adaptation focuses more on the character Johnny Rocco played by Garcia (originally played by Edward G. Robinson) than McCloud (the role played by Bogart). In this iteration it's after World War II, soldier Frank McCloud shows up to talk to the widow of his battlefield friend while awaiting the arrival of a hurricane, then a crack of thunder and Johnny Rocco (Garcia) appears. The hurricane scene is dramatic, impressive and suspenseful. The play is definitely centered around Garcia's character although Fisher had a lot of powerful scenes as well.

  It's hard to believe that Garcia hasn't been onstage for four decades (other than to play with his band The Cineson All-Stars). He says that is mainly because over the years most opportunities were in New York and he lived on the West Coast and didn't want to leave his family or uproot them. He says he has wanted to act on stage again for a long time and that the time is now. Some things you may or may not know about Garcia, he loves fishing, has a boat, plays golf, does pilates, grew up on Miami Beach after leaving Cuba with his family, loves the Keys and the Bahamas and has a 13 piece traditional Cuban orchestra and performs a few times a year. He plays percussion, produces most of their albums and sings with the band. Didn't get enough of Garcia yet? You can see him in Modern Love on Prime Video. 

Key Largo runs through December 8th in the Gil Cates Theater. To order tickets or find out more go to GeffenPlayhouse.org.