SACRED FOOLS | DARK NIGHT SERIES 2000 - Four Letter Words: eight short plays about love and race

February 15th - March 8th, 2000
Tues & Wed @ 8:00
Reservations: 310.281.8337

Produced by 
Gerald McClanahan

Written by
Nicole Barrett, Aaron Francis, Brad Friedman,
Adam Markowitz, Gerald McClanahan,
Melissa Roddy, Jim Tosney, Blake Williams
and Alex Woo

Directed by
Denise Barnard, Bil Garrity, Robert Henry,
Joe Hernandez-Kolski,David Holcomb,
Peter Mattsson, Detra Payne, Tenny Priebe
and Sam Toffler

Associate Producers
Lisa Grant, Karimah Tennyson

Lighting Designer
Aaron Francis

Sound Designer
David Rodwin

Graphic Design
Desi Doyen & Brad Friedman


Stomach Trouble
A poem by Joe Hernandez-Kolski

Mixed Messages
Written by Aaron Francis
Directed by Joe Hernandez-Kolski
Voices: Caroline Andres, Mark Auerbach, Tina Ballabio, Jill Bennett,
Jeff Benninghofen, Aaron Francis, Joe Hernandez-Kolski & Ramona Ramirez

Table 5 at the Empire Szechwan
Written by Alexander Woo
Directed by David Holcomb
Sarah: Ryan Davis
Waiter: Ho-Kwan Tse
Holly: Lizzie Peete
Marion: Laurie Searle
Erica: Jessie Thompson
Cheng Pi: Jennifer Wu
Alex: Marty Yu

This Means War
Written by Melissa Roddy
Directed by Sam Toffler
Dad: Jordan Andel
Buddy: Bryan Bellomo
Mack: Sam McConkey
Mom: Lizzie Peete
Jane: Jennifer Quednau
Mary: Kristy Zornes

The First Supper
Written by Adam Markowitz
Directed by Peter Mattsson
Jesus: Tom Chalmers
Mary: Mary Hayes
Joseph: K. Ken Johnston
Venus: Tina Arning

Abba Is a Four-Letter Word
Written by Blake Williams
Directed by Detra Payen
Jack: Jonathan Grey
Sarah: Ramona Ramirez


Written by Jim Tosney
Directed by Bil Garrity
Harry: Bryan Bellomo
Narrator: Dean Cameron
Mam: Nicola Hersh
Papa: Eric Johnson
Fergal: Leigh Guyer
Dermot: Tom Chalmers
Elisa: Jessie Thompson
Patricia: Mary Hayes
Monsignor Leach: Corey Klemow
Special Appearances by: Daintry Jensen, Sydney Nice,
Richard Gustafson, Ramona Ramirez & Jennifer Wu

Incidents at the Wall
Written by Brad Friedman
Directed by Tenny Priebe
Man #1: Richard Gustafson
Woman #1: Sydney Nice
Man #2: Aldrich Allen
Woman #2: Stephanie Noel Little
Man #3: Guy Stevenson
Woman #3: Daintry Jensen

The Date
Written by Nicole Barrett
Directed by Denise Barnard
Matthew: Matt Duggan
Elizabeth: Kristy Zornes

...And in This Corner
Written by Gerald McClanahan
Directed by Robert Henry
Ben: Matt Duggan
P.D.: Leigh Guyer
Raphael: Eric Johnson
Psychiatrist: Dean Cameron

Reviewed by Laura Weinert

Four Letter Words is an evening of one-acts which sing us the songs of modern dating on four notes anxiety, disappointment, frustration, and sabotage. The result is a comic if unoriginal view of twentysomethings and their quest for the transcendent tryst that will somehow end their chronic isolation. The scenes are both  amusing and gloomy in their truthfulness...

Many of the plays are variations on the theme of awkwardness: from a series of unsuccessful interracial first dates at a Chinese restaurant to a post-coital couple the morning after who can't remember whether or not they used a condom (Jonathan Grey and Ramona Ramirez do a graceful emotional dance between paranoia and delight), to a love-starved actress (an alternately poised and pathetic Kristy Zornes) seeking understanding from a cardboard business man.

The evening's highlight is undoubtedly Jim Tosney's McPurgatory, a Durang-esque piece about the quirky life of young Harry (Bryan Bellomo) growing up in an Irish Catholic family, hiding in his basement singing Rodgers and Hammerstein tunes, falling briefly in love with Marie Antoinette (the fitness nun), then unhappily marrying a lesbian nurse, while the love of his life, a Bavarian atheist, fades into the distance. Narrator Dean Cameron strikes the perfect chord of dry nostalgia, and Nicola Hersh is hilariously gruff as Harry's drunken, muumuu-clad Mama.

Adam Morkowitz's The First Supper also adds a few wacky trills to the evening, with a clever, jokey depiction of Jesus (Tom Chalmers) bringing his first girlfriend - Venus (Tina Arning), the sexy daugher of Pontius Pilate - to meet the folks. "I think I love her!" he wails to his mother (Mary Hayes). "You love everybody," she replies coolly.