Home #Hwoodtimes Coyote Stageworks presents THE UNDERSTUDY

Coyote Stageworks presents THE UNDERSTUDY

By Nick Valdez

Palm Springs, CA (The Hollywood Times) 11/10/18 – “If there is one major takeaway from the play, it is that life will always throw you obstacles and what matters most is not your circumstances but how you navigate them,” – said actor/cast member Alex Best.

David Youse, Robin McAlpine, and Alex Best portray three well-formed characters seem worlds away from one another when the story begins.
(Photo: David A. Lee)

This is a play about a play, actors playing actors, based off the work of Franz Kafka. The cast strategically takes you through a wide range of emotions. The Comedic performance starts off simple, an empty stage with just a ghost light.

Harry, (played by David Youse,) is a working actor without a ton of opportunities. He works his way up to become the understudy’s understudy. He had some tricks up his sleeve to get that part—it turns out it’s all about who you know.


Jake, Played by Alex Best, is a newly minted action movie star is waiting to hear back from Paramount to take on a new role that will bring him out of action movies and into more serious roles. Until Jakes big breakthrough, he is playing opposite the even bigger movie star, Bruce, while also standing-by for him in case Bruce can’t go on.

David Youse makes Harry endearing by offering up the perfect combination of humor and pitifulness.

Roxanne, played by Robin McAlpine, sets the stage as an actress who couldn’t make it big.  So in order to stay in the scene, and most importantly pay the bills, takes on the role of stage manager.

A once-void stage slowly takes on a comedic presence and the stage starts to bloom. Your typical rivalry amongst actors is nothing new, but a constant reality.

Roxanne keeps the audience on their toes when a twist regarding Harry and her prior wedding engagement fails to materialize. It’s refreshing to see both sides of what happens when a partner goes silent after calling it quits. The show explores the effect it has on both parties.


Going into an interview and being told he was perfect for the role, Jakes dreams quickly get torn away.

Certain opportunities arise, leaving all three powerless with no say over what happens to them.   As the show comes to a close and they find themselves out of work, they’re forced to also come to grips with that reality.


They portray reconciling, despite their best efforts. It doesn’t always go the way one wants, but the capacity of perseverance keeps them going despite life’s challenges.

Coyote StageWorks’ THE UNDERSTUDY at The Annenberg Theater Brings All The Laughs

“Are we still going to dance?” says harry. A bittersweet ending as Kafka intended.  The hilarious trio dances in the falling snow around them, finishing what they started.


The Understudy plays through November 11th at the Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum.  101 Museum Drive. By Theresa Rebeck – Produced & directed by Chuck Yates

Visit for more information about the company and their performances.


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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.