One-Act Interruptus These three one-acts are all about love, albeit awry love, and they are also concerned about adding that slice of comedy to everyone's life. Neil Koenigsberg's "Errands and Lite Cleaning" is first up and is a simple story about a woman (Denise Lowe) relocating to a senior citizens community who accomplishes her goal of hiring a charming elderly gent (John Dickey) for various errands; however, it is evident she has more involved plans for the man. Lowe and Dickey fit their roles like perfect gloves. The two are at ease with each other and have a natural balance which is fitting and allows these two characters to connect with each other. It would have been nice to have his character build a little bit more in regards to resistance towards her ever-increasing list of errands as this would have built more smoothly to the end. All in all, a nice slice of two lonely people finding a familiar path to share.
"Menage A Trois" is William Whitehurst's story of a literate trailer park guy (Kyle T. Heffner) who comes to terms with his cheating wife (JJ Rogers) and her lover (Sean King) and then decides to handle the situation in his own unique way. The playwright has given the actors some nice crisp words to deliver, starting with the husband's decision to downsize his company of one. The director (Fuz) provides a quickly paced and surprise-filled story that delivers, even though at times it is too close to going over the top. The charming and attractive Rogers has no problem stepping into the humor of the role and does a wonderful job. Heffner's energy and drive is compelling. King delivers in a natural, easy manner, and he reacts perfectly within his character.
Jeffrey Davis has written a small gem in "Blind Date With Dog," a charming story about a dog (Fuz) who tries to clue his mistress (Elizabeth Dement) that her blind date (Kyle T. Heffner) is a loser. There are crisp words and lines throughout the act and the actors give them the expression to match. The director (Taylor Ashbrook, who also directed "Errands and Lite Cleaning") is on top of everything from beginning to end with her touch. Fuz captures the roll of the canine and gives us the perfect pet. Heffner, with two roles during the evening, is a winner. He is so natural you can't blame the lady for inviting him home. Dement brings everything to the role. She is charismatic and has a great touch for timing. A treat to watch. Some nice business in the play; such as, Heffner's folding of coats, but it could have been taken further. There also could have been more of a distinct illusion with the talking dog between the date and the dog. However, minor things do not derail the performances or the show.
The three short plays for this entertaining evening of love gone awry and laughter were winners of audience polls and cash prizes from The Eclectic's 2004 Hurricane Season New Works Festival and Playwrights Competition. Jeff Folschinsky smoothly handled the sound and led the audience from moment to moment throughout the night. The scenic and light design is delivered tightly by John Dickey, who never missed a beat and gave each one-act its own distinct look and made appropriate use of the theatre's space. Producers Denise Lowe and Lyndsey Ogle deliver a well-rounded and professional production with strong support from Valente Rodriguez..
One-Act Interruptus is a nice way to spend part of your evening and it will not feel like an interruption at all. In fact, it might just give you something to talk about the rest of the night.
Photos: Elizabeth Dement
The Eclectic Company Theatre
5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd (between Chandler and Magnolia), North Hollywood
Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm; Sundays at 2 pm
Through July 2, 2005
Admission: $18. Students and seniors, $15.
Reservations and Information: 818-508-3003; www.eclecticcompanytheatre.org