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sexlies

 

Dearest readers!

The 5th Annual 2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival is underway! Here are some new reviews filed for Stage Raw.

Sex, Lies and Social Media

A mostly dull collection featuring corny humor, Sex, Lies, and Social Media is a loosely connected evening of five 10-minute short plays by different writers; Dan Berkowitz, Ron Burch, Elin Hampton, Lorin Howard and Mary Steelsmith. Live tweeting is encouraged between each play by the evening’s sultry hostess, Mariah Bonner, who introduces each play and appears as a succubus in the final one. These five were selected for presentation after a competition staged by the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights (ALAP).

Common themes in each include sexual inclination, relationships and an examination of the effect of social media on daily interaction. Regrettably only two of the five have any merit.

In Mary Steelsmith’s Happy and Gay, two drippy women, Betty (AnnaLisa Erickson) and Veronica (Steelsmith), are decorating a church hall for a pending gay wedding reception. The acting is atrocious and their nervous conversion is fake and overly cute. Additionally, the emotional payoff feels forced and unearned.

Read more at Stage Raw

Sex, Lies and Social Media
Elephant Studio/Theatre Asylum,
6320 Santa Monica Blvd.
Through June 28, 2014 in the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Check its official listing for reservations and information.

 

Linden

Linden Arden Stole the Highlights

Say “yes” to the whisky. Colin Mitchell has resurrected a one-person play he first staged in 1996 and has dusted it off for a remount at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Written and performed by Mitchell, and directed by Christian Levatino, Linden Arden Stole the Highlights tells the fanciful first-person tale of a man now pushing 50 who, for a handful of years, became enmeshed in the street drug trafficking scene in post-Hippie San Francisco. After helping himself to some of the drug money, sticky fingered Linden fled retribution by holing up in Arklow — a remote country village in Scotland.

The American interloper is ostracized by its native inhabitants. What happens when past nemeses catch up with this anti-hero — some 20- years in hiding — is the stuff of minor legend. In 1974 Northern Irish folk singer-songwriter Van Morrison released a song about the character he later claimed was fictional, and Mitchell took that title, fleshing out the bones of the fable for his self-starring play.

Mitchell’s show begins with Linden yawning, wiping the sleep from his eyes, then settling down to a shave with a straight razor. Suddenly he notices the audience. He appears unsure as to whether or not we are figments of his imagination, but addresses us anyway, regaling us with a portion of his life’s story in a mostly rhetorical and rambling fashion. A lightly sketched portrait of a smart-mouthed opportunist eventually emerges, amidst shaggy dog digressions and bouts of bellowed antagonism towards the pesky local kids. One such interruption brings a soccer ball to his door, which prompts a bit of fancy footwork that then segues into a vivid yet random story about a memorable soccer moment our central character once observed.

Unfortunately, there’s a layer of extreme staginess to this play, as well as in Mitchell’s performance, to the extent that the whole piece feels shrouded by a fog of phoniness. There’s Mitchell as Linden “suddenly” noticing the audience’s presence. Mitchell pretends to shave, but only actually shaves his neck; his beard remains. Linden irons a shirt and dresses for Sunday church, but the shirt is already pressed and the iron is cold. On the numerous occasions that Linden becomes distracted and annoyed by the neighborhood kids at his door, Mitchell never actually hears or registers their presence, he simply reacts. Perhaps they are also figments of Linden’s imagination, yet the soccer ball is real. Mitchell has altered Van Morrison’s celebration of “an Irish American living in San Francisco” to give his character Scottish origins, to suit Mitchell’s nostalgia for his own lineage. Clever lines such as “I am the Boo Radley of Arklow,” ring hollow; Boo Radley didn’t attend church every Sunday.

Read more at Stage Raw

Linden Arden Stole the Highlights
Elephant Studio/Theatre Asylum,
6320 Santa Monica Blvd.
Through June 28, 2014 in the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Check its official listing for reservations and information.

 

 

 

Pauline Adamek
Pauline Adamek
Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.

2 Comments

  1. […] Arden Stole the Highlights- previously reviewed here. Elephant Studio/Theatre Asylum, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. Through June 28, 2014 in the Hollywood […]

  2. […] Arden Stole the Highlights- previously reviewed here. Elephant Studio/Theatre Asylum, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. Through June 28, 2014 in the Hollywood […]