‘Hollywood Shorts,’ live on stage at the Whitefire Theater

Hollywood writers and actors perform live, Short Screen Plays, White fire Theater, Sherman Oaks CA, Limited Engagement

AXS ENTERTAINMENT / ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT / THEATER

Rating:

When most professional theaters are dark on Monday nights, “HOLLYWOOD SHORTS”, at the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks, is all lights-up and cued, offering 8 terrific short 10-minute plays for the price of one.

In the tradition of Moochie, Spanky, Buckwheat, Alfalfa, Darla and the gang, the “Adult kids” performing these original new works are all grown up and raising mucho cane! These delightful Shorts may remind at first of sketch comedy such as, “Kids In the Hall”, “Second City”, “Mad TV” or “SNL”. But “Shorts” differ, be it stage or film, by using a combination of brevity and carefully sculpted – orchestrated, well thought out short subject narratives, which are hopefully well-written, directed and acted. Rarely, if ever, do they rely on improvisation as the presentational form. They are full plays within just minutes.

In “Hollywood Shorts”, each of the 8, 10-minute pieces
features one to five characters in stories focused on a heightened life topic. All have a clever twist which left the Monday, October 19th, 8 p.m. opening night audience with an enlightened good- natured mental and emotional massage.

This fun and often great material is created, performed, and directed by seasoned, working artists from the Hollywood professional community; and spans several genres from comedy, fantasy sci-fi and thrillers, to topics on current social ethics, and even a tango with a nod towards spoken word.

The Work: “Waiting For Go”, written and directed by Ken Levine, starring a steamy couple played perfectly by Lis Bliss and Paul Pape. “Home Is A Four Letter Word”, cleverly written and directed by Wayne Robbins and starring: Tony Nunes, Jerry Kernion (wonderful as Home Depot guy), Geoff Kennedy, Heidi Appe & Paul Lauden. “In Laws Out Laws”, a first act show stopper, written by Toni Perrotta, directed by:, Cleo King and starring: very funny duo, Toni Perrotta, and Pam Trotter. “Interview With A Cat”, a wonderful fantasy, written by Jim Geoghan, beautifully brought to life by director Bryan Rasmussen, and Stars: Bruno Oliver and Evan Arnold as the Cat.

“Opening Statement”, adapted from an Ian Frasier short story and featuring one person, is written by Dan Frischman, directed by Bryan Rasmussen, starring: Dan Frischman (playing a very intimidating attorney). “Tea And Scones”, written by Ed Horowitz, directed by Byran Rasmussen, is bone chillingly played by stars: Cris D’Annunzio, Bill Chott, William Cannon, and Joyce Fidler. “The Masochism Tango”, another show stopper, written by Bruce Kane and directed by Bryan Rasmussen, is beautifully danced and executed by Jossara Jinaro and Teddy Graces. Rounding out the evening nicely is “Showcase”, written by Andy Rooster Bloch, directed by Bryan Rasmussen, starring: Carla Collins and Tyrone Power Jr.

All the plays in themselves were superlative. The final buttons on, and the transitions between scenes might have been a tad smoother, helping to make each of the acts seamless units. But these are small points in comparison, to be sure.

While, in New York City, Music, Cabaret and Comedy Clubs are at a peak on most Monday nights, in Hollywood, it is the Actor- Writer-Director- Producer, with all their bag of tricks, who forage to amuse the spirit and delight the intellect. “Illuminating the human condition”… ( Byron Rasmussen).

Bryan Rasmussen, The Artistic Director and Producer of the Whitefire Theater, is an award-winning actor known for, among many other gifts, his impressive chameleonic performances in various character roles over the years. Bryan created the concept of these two-act nights of mixed-media live shorts. It is hard to say what came first, the live short or the filmed short, but here at the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks CA, ( on its 33rd season), Shorts are all the rage. “Hollywood Shorts”, a nice respite on a Monday night. Run and catch it; only 5 performances left!


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