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LA Theater Review

I'm Just Sayin'

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Sketch-comedy shows have the advantage of being presented in short bites, presumably easily digestible. However, shorter is not always better, as proven by the less-than-ready players who perform the sketches of I'm Just Sayin'. The five members of this cast are particularly short on writing skills, starting with an unpleasant piece about worker safety that is chock-full of death and disfigurement with little to laugh about, alas. A takeoff on Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" is painful to sit through. Jesus being taken to a private school is an interesting idea that fizzles because there is nothing more than the son of God killing and resurrecting those who would not have him attend. You don't have to be a fundamentalist to find this execrable.

Some works tickled the funny bone. A faux commercial for "medicated meat," to be applied to painful naughty bits of the anatomy, is delightfully bizarre. "Showdown" breaks the convention of Old West gunslinging by having inappropriate weapons and hilarious arguments about the English lexicon. It is one of the few bits in which the energy of players Ray Klein, Cynthia Rube, Cameron Fife, Andrea Cansler, and the consistently enjoyable Bruce Green is consistent and balanced.

When leader Klein closes the show as horny, pansexual aerobics instructor Mike Stimmons, finding reasons to grope and kiss both male and female students while leaping about in a horrifyingly amusing Spandex outfit, one sees what this group might have accomplished with uniformly stronger material. Michael Ross' sometimes lethargic direction and still-shaky tech elements undercut the group's effectiveness even further. I'm not sayin' there's no hope. I'm just sayin' you have to bat at least .500 during a sketch show.

Presented by Gordon McCleevy Productions at the Second City Studio Theatre, 8156 Melrose Ave., Hollywood. Thu. & Sat. 8 p.m. Sep. 21-30. (310) 266-9178.

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