On a quiet semi-residential corner in Burbankâ€¦ Beyond an unassuming neon marquee, the SkyPilot Theatre Company opens their first production of 2011: REWIND: a series of original Late Night Short One-Acts.
Video Place is a fading relic of what was once the center of Americaâ€™s media consumption: the neighborhood video store. Anyone who has worked at a video store (like yours truly) knows that any given day or night, boat-loads of the most curious people come through those front doors.
On the first night at Video Palace, a promising double date takes a toxic turn towards the political, dashing one unsuspecting coupleâ€™s hopes of getting past second base. Night two at Video Palace, well, the title pretty much says it all: â€ś Beautiful Princess Meagan Tries to Get Fired from the Video Palace.â€ť Next, a clerk must strategically answer the same question night after night, followed by a short play where a customer finding himself on trial for his poor taste in movies. Finally, we are transported to Manhattan Beach circa 1985 where a young video clerk named Quentin is explaining the genius of foreign films and embracing the concept of â€śaestheticization of violence.â€ť
REWIND â€“ Friday Edition is a bit wobbly. The atmosphere and performances of this evening are clearly in the vein of a comedy club more so than comedic theatre. I was unable to detect any real chemistry in this company of players. The performances themselves were very presentation Ăˇ lĂ Saturday Night Live â€“ where the performers have a captive and there is no real pressure to be good so long at the material is marginally humorous and the delivery lands.
Both the performers and the audience seemed to be having a good time. I felt a bit left out. Granted, Iâ€™m a girl who only watches SNL occasionally, and then only for the musical guest performances.
Two plays in the Friday series are rescued by good writing. â€ś Will My Daughter Like This Movie?â€ť directed by Robert William Rausch and written by Adam Hahn, truly captures that aforementioned parade of characters that could roll through a Blockbuster any given night. Similarly, in homage to Mr. Tarantino and video clerks everywhere, â€ś The Expert,â€ť written Brett Neveu and directed by Eric Curtis Johnson, really nails the eccentric personnel on the other side of counter. Both short plays employ just the right amounts of good acting and absurdity.
If you are looking for a goof, a place to blow off late night steam, Friday Night REWIND is a good time. If you are looking for good theatre, go on Saturday.
REWIND: SkyPilot Theatre Companyâ€™s first late night short one-act series, runs February 4, 2011 thru March 12, 2011 at:
The Little Victory Theatre
3326 West Victory Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
(1 block East of Hollywood Way)
For more info call 323-229-2753 or 800-838-3006
Running time 75 minutes.
For Tickets go to www.SKYPILOTTHEATRE.com