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LA Theater Review

An Evening of One Acts

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Dini (actor-director Brandelynn Turner) arranges a blind date for her friend Annette (Sue Fletcher), neglecting to tell her that the blind date, Michael (Tom Trudeau), is Dini's soon-to-be-ex-husband. The meeting between the hookups is dreadfully awkward as both are pathetically lost when it comes to social skills. The situation isn't helped when Dini purposefully shows up at the restaurant and joins the couple, dragging along her hunky pickup for the evening, Guy (Gregor Collins). As the first one-act, playwright Cherie Vogelstein's Cats and Dogs proves to be a hilarious primer for today's dating-, divorcing-, and hooking-up scene. The fine cast—which also includes Jodi Adler as the waitress--works wonderfully well together as each actor plays with the quick wit in the dialogue and the discomfort of the story's situation. Turner keeps the pacing snappy and fresh.

Next is writer-director Sue Fletcher's Psychiatrist's Night Out--a scene clipped out of her full-length play. Clive (Andy Kovac) and his wife, Nadine (Turner), are seeking help in their marriage by going to a shrink, Dr. Jim (Jacques Freydont). As this tale unwinds, we discover that Nadine never learned when or how to shut up. She nastily toys with her narcoleptic husband—who falls asleep instantly when excited--by creating odd situations for him to wake up into. Freydont plays straight man to Turner's and Kovac's hilarious portrayals of a couple in crisis. Fletcher's direction is right on target.

The sets, props, and lighting are as very makeshift as the theatre itself, but the work is solid. Their presentation of comedy works because the actors become the characters in the situations and aren't just playing at playing cute. The writing is also a cut above average. It takes a lot to make some critics laugh out loud, and this crew knows the trick.

Unfortunately the third play, Robert Kerr's The Potato Creek Chair of Death, was canceled due to the illness of a cast member. We wish him well.

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