What do you do when you’re at the library on a Saturday afternoon and you have a sudden yen for theatre?—Go watch actors read aloud from books called ‘scripts’ in presentations called ‘plays’ and this past Saturday’s “Eclectic: a Staged reading of 8 Plays with Nothing in Common” fit this bill quite adequately. Written and directed by both Thomas J. Misuraca and Terry McFadden, the readings were put together in culmination with Rock-n-Geek Productions to showcase their common yet varying work and, most of all, entertain. Performed in West Hollywood Library’s Community Room the 2 pm, approximately hour and a half long performance was just what the doctor ordered, but just what type of doctor ordered it is up for rumination…
“Star Wars Crossed Lovers”, by Thomas J. Misuraca, one of the reading’s first plays, high-lights this very question as a sci-fi enthusiast, played by a nerdily adamant Tyler Koster, and an actual doctor, played by a refreshingly overeager Heidi Appee, embark on a first date.
Marcie–I’m a doctor.
David–A doctor? Like a Time Lord…?…
David–Favorite Star Wars Movie?
Marcie–The one with Ricardo Montalban. …
David–Marvel or DC?
Marcie–D.C., great town!
At the play’s conclusion, it is determined that Marcie may just be able to learn everything intriguing about David’s imaginary world as she correctly names some of David’s favorite characters mentioned all the way back in the beginning of their conversation. David remarks on what a fast learner she is as Marcie compares the sound of all his sci-fi terms to much or her medical jargon… Hmm, they may have some potential as a couple after all but will Marcie pick the right midnight movie?
From medical doctor to head doctor “That’s Recovery” by Terry McFadden examines the concept of doing everything opposite of the way you’ve always done it as a doorway to success; much like George Costanza before netting his job with the New York Yankees.
Howie–I’m not going to do what you think I’m going to do anymore… All it ever did was make me wealthy, loved and a pillar in the community!
Doctor Dawdle–…Instead of an action plan, how ‘bout an inaction plan! …When you fall off the horse, you stay off the horse!
But will Howie, played deliciously goofily by Kevin Kelly, still live up to the expectations of paying his self-proclaimed brilliant doctor, played by the ridiculously haughty Jack Kandel…?
From recovery to denial, an overly judgmental mother, played hilariously by Marcie Lynn Ross, comes to nonexistent terms with her close, and very openly gay son Kenny’s, played by a comedically straightmannish (no pun intended) Tommy Curitore, obvious tendencies in “Denial Seat” by Thomas J. Misuraca. As she sits on the aisle seat of a plane departing Disneyland, she slings color commentary at everyone who enters the cabin, particularly regarding their manner of dress and occasionally even the color of that dress.
Mother–That girl is trying to solicit sex right here on the plane… Does that man have a tattoo on his neck? I hope he didn’t just get out of jail…. Who brings a baby on a plane? They should stay home and people should come and visit them.
Kenny–We’re coming from Disneyland.
Mother–That baby’s too young for Disneyland.
The man belonging to the window seat, played by a very cute Tyler Koster, arrives at which point Mother chides him for not arriving earlier. It is obvious that he and Kenny share a mutual attraction. Despite their flirtation Mother can only admonish Kenny, “You’re not going to find a girl your age when you like Disneyland.”
In spite of her aisle denial, she will eventually indulge both men’s fashion sense (subliminally?) to assist her in her color commentary—in all too loud colors at that!
In “Don’t you Forget about Me” by Thomas J. Misuraca two people with short term memory loss, played quick-wittedly by John Dantona and Gabrielle Edinburgh-Wald, rediscover their relationship to each other by having hilariously circuitous conversations, changing ever so slightly like a song’s refrain when an additional note is inserted each cycle in the form of a new sentence.
Andrew–How did we meet?
Evelyn–I don’t remember.
Andrew–That’s because we have the same affliction.
Additional plays provide for other uncommon subjects. “Hittin’ the Skids” by Terry McFadden, starring the loveably overenthusiastic Terry McFadden himself as Davey and a glib Jerry O’Donnell as Rings, explores the metaphor between women and cars, women as cars and the fine yellow double line between them as the cheating barrier. “An Unseen Illusion” by Terry McFadden involves a cheating magician in relation to his assistants, Tracey played by a deliciously scheming Helen Yoeman and comparatively innocent Carly played purely by Lisa Ridarelli, each on alternate sides of the age spectrum. “Falling for You” by Thomas J. Misuraca delves into the worst first dating scenario ever when the female counterpart, Jenny, played by no one because she is offstage in a coma, falls to her death accidentally while smoking a cigarette on Gary, played in earnest by Sebastian Munoz, the non-smoking, male counterpart’s balcony. In “Holier than…Wow” by Terry McFadden the comely sister Fannie Mae played seductively by Jena Kirmse, (with an accent and cadence all too comparable to Blanche Dubois or even Blanche Devereaux) asks Father Rowsel, played by the hilariously Foghorn Leghorn voiced Dan Roth, to transfer from her current church, ‘Our Lady of Long Lovely Lashes’ to be closer to more men at the ‘Parish of Saint Bendy Bones’. “All my life men have been helpin’ me, encouragin’ me, watchin’ me (and I just wanna give back).”
Each play is fast paced, humorous in all the right places, and ends on a punch line or a surprise just like all short plays should. Misuraca and McFadden’s Rock-n-Geek will be producing additional events in the near future with staged readings as their immediate focus but are also looking to mount workshops and full productions further out. The next staged reading: “Eclectic 2” (6 short plays with nothing in common), will take place at the Will and Ariel Durant Branch Library on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 1 pm. 7140 W Sunset Blvd; Los Angeles, CA 90046 (323) 876-2741