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AN EVENING WITH THE EGOS

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It's generally a good thing when a show knows exactly what it is and doesn't profess to be anything more—or less. That way, one knows what one is getting into before one even sits down among the people in the audience, right? And at first glance, Joseph De Rosa's new play promises to be a sweet, silly comedy about the twentysomething dating scene—not everyone's cup of tea, surely, but with any luck going down smoothly and harmlessly. Unfortunately, De Rosa's slight script is not without some pretty painful moments, and the evening's flashes of honesty and sweetness aren't nearly enough to compensate for the fact that this new work won't satisfy even the silliest of audiences.

The cute if not particularly original premise is that two co-workers (Adrianne Avey and Jeremy Kent Jackson) are attracted to each other, but we only find out about their secret passions and hidden longings from their egos, played by two other actors onstage (co-producer Dominic Catrambone and Juliette Miller). To the production's credit, An Evening With the Egos looks quite professional, and Avey and Jackson are terrific as angst-ridden would-be mates. The young actors are funny, sexy, and versatile and have an endearing presence that rises above the material. And under director/co-producer Maria Gobetti's experienced hand, each performer's enthusiasm, energy, and earnestness comes shining through, which goes a long way in explaining why the Victory might have been attracted to this project.

But in the end, an audience that has spent An Evening With the Egos—and that's an audience not full of family and friends—will more than likely feel cheated.

"An Evening With the Egos," presented by and at The Victory Theatre Center, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 7 p.m. Jan. 30-Feb. 22. $20-22. (818) 841-5422.

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