The first play, Pomp and Circumstance centers around Zach Ebersohn (Jeremy Gabriel) trying to fit into the oversized shoes of his successful attorney father, Max Ebersohn, (Richard Licata) who has done more than his share of legal maneuvers in and out of court.
He is threatened with termination from his father's firm by Barb Watrin (Dorothy Gallagher) who is a force to be reckoned with and decides when attempting what he thinks should be a sexual conquest to take on the case of Randy Kershner (Robin Schild) a modern Orthodox older man and his young sex deprived wife Shayna (Sarah Pachelli) who have to prove their loss of sexual compatibility is real when Randy OD's on Viagra.
Zach finds, however, that he is not up to the task alone and must rely on his father's partner, the capable Diana Altman (Ryan Driscoll) who knows just the legal tactics to take. They cannot, however, let Max or Barb know because Zach wants to prove himself.
In pleading for a chance to go to trial, he is suddenly surprised that dad is allowing him on the murder case of an actor Samuel Robertson (Frederick Owens) who, while playing Othello, killed his Desdemona. Zach finds he must be colorful and theatrical, just as Max is, and makes the right assumption when he accused Sam's friend, Morris Legrand (Dee Kevin Ace Gibson) of manipulating the situation.
Despite the laughs, the ending is melancholy as Max is unable to accept his son's abilities. Richard Licata was a great Max as both a playboy and an egotistical father as he battled the injured but controlling Barb (Dorothy Gallagher.). Frederick Owens stood out as Othello/Samuel and it would be easy to imagine him playing Shakespeare's hero in the original play. Ryan Driscoll (Diane) and Jeremey Gabriel (Zach) had great chemistry as did Robin Schild and Sarah Pachelli despite a few inconsistencies.
Sperm Warfare -starring Alexis Corey as Deborah, Ryan Kitley as Blake and Tina Bruna as the nurse also had some funny moments as Deborah desperately tries to encourage her out of work, house husband to produce sperm at a clinic before her eggs deteriorate.
Having known several friends whose clocks were about to tick out, I could readily identify with both Deborah's frustration and her sense of mission as well as her solution. Ryan Kitley's Blake was open and honest as Alexis Corvey's Deborah was serious and focused. The nurse Tina Bruna was naive and fresh though you would think this had happened to her before.
Both plays are worth seeing and funny--but by adults only, pleasee.
Playing at the Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose, Los Angeles, in its initial run from March 3 to April 15,2007, tickets ($25) are available by calling 800 838 3006 or online at www.davidrouda.com.