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Sideways: The Play may delight Santa Ynez residents

6 Nov 2012 5:12 PM
Sideways: The Play may delight Santa Ynez residents

In 2004, the Oscar-winning film "Sideways" premiered to rave reviews across the country. The story focuses on a pair of middle-aged men, as they tour some of Santa Ynez's most famous wineries and gulp down dozens of valuable red and white wines. Many owners of wine country real estate throughout Santa Ynez were tickled to see some of their favorite haunts on the silver screen.

In the intervening years, the film has remained a favorite, especially in the California regions it depicted. Screenings of the movie crop up occasionally around Santa Ynez, and sometimes tourists come to the area specifically to see the places portrayed in the movie.

However, a new play being performed in Los Angeles may give some of these residents an even closer look at the fictional vineyard-hopping jaunt through the region.

"Sideways: The Play" was adapted by Rex Pickett - the original author of the book - and offers a slightly new twist on the story. Santa Ynez residents may want to make a trip to Los Angeles to see their beloved home serve as the backdrop for this dark comedy.

In a review published in The Los Angeles Times, critic Philip Brandes praises the play's director, Amelia Mulkey, for her creative use of space to evoke some of the famous wine country settings. As the characters tromp from vineyard to vineyard, wine country residents will likely delight in the many references to specific locations familiar to any Santa Ynez resident.

The L.A. Weekly recently highlighted the play as its pick of the week. Steven Leigh Morris, an art critic for the publication, said that "Mulkey's production adroitly captures the mood of rural Santa Ynez, with C.J. Strawn's barnlike set populated by a cast of supporting actors with grizzled beards, sunburned faces and tank tops, looking like denizens of wine country."

Indeed, the play has garnered such a positive response that the original run has been significantly extended. The show, which is performed on the Main Stage of the Ruskin Group Theater, will now be playing through November 17.

Whether going to see how their hometown is portrayed on stage or simply to re-live this captivating tale, Santa Ynez residents will likely enjoy this one-of-a-kind production about an eventful week in wine country.