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LA Theater Review

In The Chips!

Theatre artists have certain inalienable rights, among them the right to create new work, to stretch in new directions, and to risk looking foolish in the process or in the result. No matter if you're an actor, director, designer, or producer, the right to freely experiment with and explore your craft is an essential element of artistic growth.

But paying audiences have certain rights as well, and in this case, their rights trump those of the artists. When buying a ticket to a new musical, for example, audiences have the right to expect actors to know their lines, to be fairly musically adept, and to be heard. They should not pay to endure a project in which one of the lead actors (Mac MacDonald, who also wrote the libretto, music, and lyrics, and directed) reads his own lines off papers pasted inside prop file folders-and does so quite badly. Money should not be spent to sit through a shoddily written, insipid story about a power struggle over the applications of a supercomputer called Euphoria 2010 that could change the fate of the world.

Add to that the endless downstage pacing that is meant to pass for blocking; the cheesy, monochromatic set (uncredited); the limp, lame jokes ("I'm having a wargasm!"); the prerecorded, synthesized score that has about as much life and variety to it as the aftermath of the nuclear explosion the heroines (Stephanie Ann Scott as software inventor Samantha; Lainnie Felan as the Spirit) are trying to prevent; and the various actors' ongoing search for the right notes, the proper beat, and an audible volume; and frankly, refunds should be offered.

Presented by and at the Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m. Jul. 28-Aug. 26. (818) 508-3003.

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