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Review: 'Lost Lake' characters seek to find meaning in harsh world

Josh Pendino (left) plays Hogan and Dominique Roman plays Veronica in 'Lost Lake
Josh Pendino (left) plays Hogan and Dominique Roman plays Veronica in 'Lost Lake' through Nov. 6 in the Studio Theater.

There’s a cabin in the woods next to a lake with gorgeous weather in the summer, a diving platform, and a dock in need of repairs. Despite its sketchy cell phone signal and slightly broken-in cabin, this is where the nurse practitioner Veronica decides to get away from the bustling life of the city.

Lamar University’s department of theater and dance presents “Lost Lake,” written by David Auburn and directed by LU alumna Caitlin Grammer, through Nov. 6 in the Studio Theater.

Veronica (Dominique Roman) is a single mother with two kids. Wanting to take a small vacation, she decides to rent out a cabin from Hogan (Josh Pendino) for the week with her kids and her daughter’s friend. Despite their willingness to make a deal with the rent, the duo have a hard time getting along.

The first few days into the vacation are rough for Veronica as things in the cabin aren’t working properly and are in need of some fixing up. Hogan does what he can and negotiates with her to stay for the rest of the week.

Through various scenes as the vacation continues, Veronica and Hogan form a small bond as they slowly reveal their grievances with each other. The characters are both facing challenges in the world away from the cabin. As the story progresses, the weight of their problems passes onto the audience as if we are facing the problems with them.

Roman’s Veronica feels like a real mother. The audience can understand her anger with Hogan, as all she wants is some time with her kids away from the problems that await her in the city. As we learn more about her, the audience sympathizes with how hard she works to have a good life.

Pendino’s Hogan seems kind and only wants things to work out between him and Veronica. As we slowly learn new information about him, the audience feels sympathetic. However, Hogan has been bottling his emotions deep down until they pop. And when it eventually happens, it’s shocking and incredibly real.

Roman and Pendino show an excellent range of emotions and form an excellent dynamic together on stage.

The set, designed by Lee Barker, is innovative. The audience sits on either side of the stage. This gives the audience an interesting perspective which makes us feel like we are in the cabin with Veronica and Hogan. The design is rustic which helps immerse the audience in the story.

Director Caitlin Grammer brings everything together wonderfully.

When Veronica says to Hogan, “We can’t stay here,” we know that statement is about more than just the cabin. How Auburn gets us to that point is the fun part.

“Lost Lake” has many amusing moments, but also packs an emotional punch.  

Showtimes continue Nov. 4-5 at 7:30 p.m. with an additional matinee performance Nov. 6 at 2. The play runs about 90 minutes with no intermission.

For tickets, visit

Josh Pendino (left) as Hogan and Dominique Roman as Veronica in 'Lost Lake.'
Josh Pendino (left) as Hogan and Dominique Roman as Veronica in 'Lost Lake.'
Category: Opinion