The newest trend in plays these days is having three mini-plays all rolled into one, usually with a central theme. Now, exciting competition enters the trend, as a New Works Festival and Playwright competition comes to life. And we are all left wondering
. which one of the many great short plays will win the cash prize?
The Eclectic Company Theatre proudly presents Hurricane Season 2004 from October 1st to the 17th in North Hollywood. Nine plays are selected from a contest and are thrown into a hurricane, as they blow through the theater from new script to finished product in just two months.
"The Matchmaker" (l. to r.) - Fuz, Lyndsay Ogle, Biff Wiff, & Elaine Bartolone Photo: Elizabeth Dement
In week number two "The Matchmaker," written by Arthur Kraft and directed by Denise Lowe, starts off the trilogy of short plays. In enters the lawyer by day, matchmaker by night, creating a somewhat karmic balance. Alicia Silverstone plays the same character in her recent television show fittingly named "Miss Match". However, in "The Matchmaker" the lawyer/matchmaker is an adorable elderly gentleman, instead of a bubbly blonde. The central theme that ties all three plays together is the idea that healthy relationships require hard work, understanding of each other, and self-awareness. This play focuses on the awkward beginning stages of a relationship between two young people after they have been thrown together by the matchmaker. I really enjoyed this play and felt that the actors really felt their roles.
"Don't Cry For Me, Pasadena" (l. to r.) - Philip Restivo, Matt Crabtree, MaryBeth Scherr, & Darcy Shean Photo: Elizabeth Dement
"Don't Cry For Me, Pasadena." Written by Mike Vukadinovich. Directed by Trish Geiger. A woman married to a man named Jesus Pasadena (pronounced the Anglo, not the Latin, way) attempts revenge on her neglectful husband by claiming he's dead, prompting a visit by the obituary writer of a local newspaper. Featuring Darcy Shean, MaryBeth Scherr, Phil Restivo, and Matt Crabtree. Darcy Shean plays the wife's best friend and opened the play with her great comedic timing and charisma and I was instantly hooked. The play goes deep into understand the difficulty of marriage as the wife complains to her husband that for her, the marriage has lost its sparkle and has become routine. It infuses religion with modern day marriage. The actors in this play had lot's of contagious energy and their performances were very believable.
"Blind Date With Dog" (l. to r.) - Bob Brunson, Elizabeth Dement, & Kyle T. Heffner Photo: Taylor Ashbrook
"Blind Date With Dog." Written by Jeffrey Davis. Directed by Taylor Ashbrook. A dog tries to clue his mistress that her blind date is a loser. Featuring Elizabeth Dement, Kyle T. Heffner, and Bob Brunson. This play begins with Nina coming back to her apartment with her blind date, as they are greeted by her pet dog/best friend, Gus played by actor Brunson. Only Nina and the audience can understand that Gus is not barking but actually communicating with words as a loyal friend would. Gus acts as Nina's counsel during the living room conversation between Nina and her Blind Date, Edward. The audience is entertained as the couple discusses the difficulty of dating. The audience votes at the end of the three plays and this is the play that I cast my vote for!
In conclusion, why watch one long, drawn out play when you can watch three short, straight to the point plays? I am definitely jumping on the bandwagon and going to The Eclectic Company Theater next week to watch the finale of this showcase.
Each weekend of the Season, three short plays will be presented. The venue is The Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd., North Hollywood. This is between Chandler and Magnolia Blvd. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 8p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Admission is $15 for a single program, or $30 for a bargain festival pass that will admit you to each of the three festival weekends. The phone number for reservations and information is (818) 508-3003.
Next weeks plays:
October 15-17: "Free." Written by Mitch Silpa. Directed by Taylor Ashbrook. A devotedly promiscuous woman confounds her therapist, but may be headed to meet Mr. Right despite everything. Featuring Amy Benedict and Matt Crabtree.
"Menage A Trois." Written by William Whitehurst. Directed by Fuz. A trailer park guy tries to arrange a ménage a trois with his wife and her lover, who probably couldn't spell it let alone figure out what it means. Featuring Darcy Shean, Robert Briscoe Evans, and Mark Mazur.
"Primed For Love." Written by Thea Iberall and Helene Iberall. Directed by Trish Geiger. A lonely writer may have found her romantic match at a writers' convention. Featuring Barbara Murray, King Stuart, and MaryBeth Scherr.
Hurricane Season is produced for The Eclectic Company Theatre by Matt Williams.
For more information go to: http://www.eclecticcompanytheatre.org/