The WolfPack Production Company's creative staging of two short, short plays marks its first foray into contemporary theatre. David Avcollie directs both pieces with wit and imagination, using actors on- and offstage to create two distinctly different organic worlds. His staging is innovative and confident, and the pieces unfold with fun and inventive details.
In Sam Shepard's one-act Cowboys #2, four actors draw straws to see which role they'll play that night. On the night reviewed, Brian Kimmet and Michael Dunn played the cowboys, wrestling with life's mysteries under a hot and lonely sun. Like many of Shepard's early one-acts, Cowboys #2 is a surreal barrage of images and ideas, and the actors create a physical world on the barren stage with nothing but their imaginations. Their sensory work is exceptional, creating a cool pond and a hot sun we could almost see. Dunn, warm and Jack Black-esque, and Kimmet, lean and eager, bring life to the piece, fully investing in its many crazy colors.
The world premiere staging of The Firesign Theatre's radio piece Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him boasts five actors playing about 50 roles in 15 minutes. The four role-changing actors step swiftly in and out of their numerous personae with precision and flair. A few of the many notable characters are Dunn's blonde-TV-nurse-bimbo, Rob Adler's German ice-dancer, Rob Edelstein's writer/ prisoner, and Katrina Phillips' silent elevator girl. If there is a weak point here, it is the fifth actor, Daryl Dickerson, as the protagonist—the straight man in this mad world. Dickerson seems only partly present in the piece, repeatedly tucking her hair behind her ears in the midst of what are meant to be life-or-death situations. She hits all the right marks; she just seems disconnected from the struggle, leaving a hollow space in the middle of the decorative creation.
"Flashback" presented by the WolfPack Production Company at the Players Space, 4934 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 10 p.m. Mar. 1-23. $10. (818) 508-6612.