Timeshare Review - Working the System

 

A clever and amusing comedy, TIMESHARE delves into a byproduct of our society’s yearning for material possessions and a better life: the salesperson who must “close the sale or die.” A series of vignettes explores the multiple oblique and often subliminal ways - ethics be damned - that salespeople use to entice the often unwitting public into purchasing things they don’t need or even want. Steve B. Green, the author, director, and co-producer of TIMESHARE, pokes fun at the sales methods of our times and what challenges they may present. 

 

 

Timeshare - Alyssa LeBlanc and Tony Pauletto - Photo by Steve B. Green

 

When out-of-work and broke Tom (Tony Pauletto) turns to selling timeshares to keep his family afloat, he enters the bizarre world of the professional salesman, including his high-powered, bombastic boss Frank (Jon Mullich), his sexy bombshell colleague Christine (Sarmarie Klein), and fellow sales reps Jack (Kerr Lordygan), an insidious boundary-challenged pipsqueak, and Mike (Travis Quentin), a muscular but simplistic hunk. As customers come through their doors - true, primarily for a free flat screen TV - Tom tries to convince them that their lives will become heaven on earth if only they will purchase a timeshare. Despite personal ambivalence over his actions, Tom gradually begins to get the hang of the business - until he meets his biggest challenge in customers Neil (Paul Messinger) and Gretchen (Marbry Steward).

 

 

Timeshare - Jon Mullich - Photo by Steve B. Green

 

TIMESHARE deals with some very topical issues which will strike home with many, including today’s penchant for “downsizing,” the desperation of losing one’s home, inability to cope with financial and personal frustrations, the need to “work the system,” and fears about the future. At the same time, TIMESHARE manages to extract laughs and even guffaws in this dark comedy about survival in our times. On the day of this review, two understudies were called in (Zack Pappas and Randi Tahara); and each did a bang-up job. The talented cast is large and works well as a team - although, at times, they seemed to try almost too hard. 

 

 

Timeshare - David Datz, J.C. Henning, Tony Pauletto - Photo by Steve B. Green

 

Set designer Marco de Leon strikes just the right note in his staging, and co-producer Rochelle Perry lends her talents to the production. Last but definitely not least, Steve Green has managed to convert his real-life experiences in timeshare sales into a very funny and topical play.

 

 

Timeshare - Paul Messinger and Marbry Steward - Photo by Steve B. Green

 

TIMESHARE runs through December 13, 2015, at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. The Eclectic Company Theatre is located at 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Valley Village, CA 91607. Tickets are $18. For reservations, call 818-508-3003 or go online at www.eclecticcompanytheatre.org.

 

  

 

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