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LA Theater Review

The Circus Theatricals 14th Annual Festival of New One-Act Plays, Evening C

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Game 7 opens the book on the sad relationship between a deadbeat dad and his finally burnt-out son. The road to hell is paved with empty promises in this tight little finale to a life skittered away on all the wrong things, written by Matt Tucker and directed by Dedalus Hyde. Scott Sheldon is heartbreaking as the son who has found the backbone to toss his gearless father (John Ross Clark) out of his life.

To Arms is an essentially lifeless piece in which three couples exercise anti-war, pro-courage rhetoric about fighting or defecting. Jonah Bay, Anthony Cran, Desiree Hall, Susane Lee, Jace McLane, and Courtney Munch have at Jennifer Castello's play, statically directed by Clark.

Paula J. Caplan's The Test, directed by Vanessa Waters, is a moving piece about life's double meanings as they relate to a condemned man who must learn to read so he can exercise his options in a test that will determine his life or death. The Holy Bible is the primer for the fine Floyd Lewis and appealing Christopher Smith.

The Market, written by Joe Bays, directed by Lewis, gets into a speed-dating session that's closer to mud wrestling when the delightful Dré Slaman, Tom Groenwald, and Hall face off.

So Near and Yet So Noir, written by Chuck Rose, directed by Joel Polis, finds that the ghosts of Hollywood noir (Danica Sanders) aren't far away from the old hotel where Nathan (James McCaffree) and Carmen (Emily Merryn) conduct their daily tours.

There are 15 plays in three evenings in this annual festival, a mere sample of what Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble can accomplish in approximately 70 minutes.

Presented by Circus Theatricals at the Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., Hollywood. May 22–June 28. Program A: Fri., 8 p.m; Program B: Sat., 8 p.m.; Program C: Sun., 7 p.m. (323) 960-7846. www.circustheatricals.com.

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