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18 ARRESTS NO CONVICTIONS

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Michael Drescher is the kind of guy you'd surely want to have a drink with. If you had known him in his youth, it probably would have been 10 or 12 drinks, followed by his getting arrested. This one-person show jumps chronologically, starting with Drescher's first brush with the law and the memory of his father's prediction about his eventually getting jailed: "Not if it happens but when it happens, get comfy."

Drescher is comfortable with his five times falling asleep at the wheel and having an attorney who robbed garages with him, because, as a boy, Drescher experienced a visitation of angels. It gives him a confidence, although it worked less than wonders on his parents. The surprising blend of Drescher's casually vulgar language and connection to the spiritual realm makes for an intriguing narrative tone. Describing himself as a "clown on acid," Drescher, as a former successful TV syndication exec, has the gift of gab.

Director Justin A. Yoffe uses a hilarious taped opening, slides of text prepping us for each section, and gets Drescher downstage and soft-voiced when giving us some of the more sensitive tales of his wild life. But although Drescher is an ideal dinner- or bar conversationalist, he often mumbles, does not delineate his characters distinctly, and often searches for the next word. He is, however, eminently likeable and has more than enough stories to hold us for a 90-minute show.

Pushing it to two acts and ending with a somewhat maudlin appeal to love and compassion does not do justice to his intelligence, charm, or utterly outrageous stories. Still, as he says about a life not just on but over the edge, "The education was great. The tuition was a little high." All proceeds go to One Tribe, a nonprofit Drescher has formed, which supports children's rights and AIDS research, in the United States and Africa, suggesting that the angels are indeed at work here.

"18 Arrests, No Convictions," presented by One Tribe & Theater Planners at the Court Theatre, 722 N. La Cienega Blvd. Thu.-Sat. 8 p.m. Sun. 7 p.m. June 11-July 11. $15-18. (310) 924-8628.

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