Still Got It
Written and Performed by Brendan Hunt
Directed by Lauren Van Kurin
Hunt, star of last year’s Fringe winner The Poe Show, plays a completely different character in this new solo performance.
Here, he’s Tim O’Connor, an L.A. actor whose drunken antics at a friend’s wedding reception send him to jail with a black eye. While describing to a detective the incidents that led to his arrest, Tim also ruminates on the events in his life that brought him here.
What follows is a seriocomic confessional during which Tim recalls an acid-tinged visit to Knotts Berry Farm, a drunken stagger through Pan Pacific Park (captured on YouTube), and his frustrating on again-off-again relationship with would-be girlfriend Jean, who keeps him at arm’s length.
With Tim, Hunt has created a believable character whose tribulations should be familiar to anyone whose life has been touched by addiction. References to a childhood spent with a damaged, alcoholic mother help us to understand the reasons for his substance abuse problems. Indeed, drugs and liquor are constant causes of his inappropriate behavior, contributing to Jean’s resistance and his climactic outburst at the reception, where he embarrasses himself and his friends with an unintentionally frank, booze-fueled speech. We don’t actually see the events leading to Tim’s arrest, but an assault on a priest is mentioned.
This is the story of an addict who’s hit rock bottom, but in Hunt’s talented hands, he’s an imperfect soul whom we find ourselves rooting for, even in his debauchery. Maybe it’s because it’s easy for us to find aspect of ourselves in Tim. Hunt throws himself into the character, literally baring all in a performance that’s poignantly, painfully funny.
Still Got It has one final date at the Fringe, June 18, at Sacred Fools Theatre, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd. Tickets and more information can be obtained on the Fringe site.
Written by Bob DeRosa
Directed by Alicia Conway Rock
Winner of Season Ten of Sacred Fools’ ongoing “Serial Killers” competition, this action comedy spins the amusing notion that librarians, behind those horn-rimmed glasses and beneath the proper woolen knee-length dresses, possess a knack for homicide as surely as they know the Dewey Decimal System.
Shy Margo (Lauren Van Kurin) is a quiet young woman who is content to spend her days working at a library research desk, even if it includes tolerating the petty humiliations of her supervisor (Jennifer DeRosa). But when the mysterious Lancaster (Eric Giancoli) appears, her life is changed forever.
Lancaster works for a shadowy organization known only as The Establishment, for whom he recruits and trains professional assassins. He’s had his eye on Margo for some time, convinced that she’s got what it takes to be a killer. To prove it, he sends in three trained thugs whom she easily dispatches, much to her surprise. Even though she finds killing distasteful, the life of international intrigue that Lancaster offers her is too exciting to resist. Travel on his private jet makes her particularly giddy. And, since the job comes with a big paycheck, she can realize her dream of opening library branches everywhere to serve the underprivileged.
Van Kurin is delightful as Margo, making the transformation from nebbish to hard-ass. Giancoli is also amusing as the no-nonsense Lancaster who is constantly making calls to his superiors and taking photos of the bodies she leaves strewn about. In the course of many missions, he develops an obsessive romantic interest in Margo. This poses a serious conflict for her, as she has fallen for Henry (Pete Caslava), the sweet-tempered “janitor” in charge of disposing the bodies. Carrie Keranen is fun as Mrs. White, an elderly former librarian who reveals to Margo the long and distinguished history of killers who have been recruited from the stacks.
Mike Mahaffey’s fight choreography is hilarious, with characters using deft sleight-of-hand to appear that they are stopping flying knives from penetrating their heads (or hearts) with their bare fists. Matthew Richter and Ben Rock provide quite imaginative lighting and sound design, especially considering the constraints of Fringe.
All the Best Killers are Librarians has two remaining Fringe performances June 18 and 25 at Sacred Fools Theatre, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. More information and tickets can be obtained on the Fringe site.