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LA Theater Review

LA Review: 'INTERNment'

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Anyone who's spent time on the Hollywood audition circuit will know Jack Dempsey, the 27-year-old prime-time TV casting wunderkind with four Artios nominations, one for each year he's been in the biz. Dempsey is the ruthlessly self-absorbed, power-hungry creation of Joe Mahon, who has based his scathingly funny solo show on his own experiences as an unpaid intern in just such an office.

Mahon treats his audience as a gaggle of mailroom trainees gathered to learn how Jack wants his office run and how put-upon his life has become: "I did one print interview with Back Stage, and now I can't go out in public anymore," he carps. Mahon is hilariously spot-on as one of the many monster-wannabes who come to take our town by the short hairs and end up in a few years either with a mansion in Malibu or working as a barista at Starbucks.

Billed as a 60-minute piece, the 90-minute "INTERNment" is bogged down when Dempsey leaves for a network test and Mahon returns in that extra half hour as two veteran interns ready to give the real scoop, one a Brooklynite future reality show horror and the other a RADA-trained Brit who feels he deserves better. Neither the characters nor their respective accents are as convincing as the scary Dempsey, who should be the only guy making sure his trainees don't slip their own headshots in his "A pile."  

Self-presented as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival at the Elephant Studio Theatre, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. June 11Ð24. Remaining performances: Mon., June 18, 7 p.m.; Tue., June 19, 6 p.m.; Sun., June 24, 12:15 p.m. (323) 455-4585 or www.hollywoodfringe.org.

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