SACRED FOOLS | DARK NIGHT SERIES 2002 - Slow & Tight

"Whimsical...memorable...Told with humor and
exhilarating imagination...These Fools we'll suffer gladly!"
- Backstage West

"One of the fastest moving couple of hours 
you can spend laughing your head off"

- The Play Review

In the Dark Night Series...
Tue & Wed @ 8pm
April 9 - May 1, 2002

Tickets: $10
Reservations: (310) 281-8337
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8
ORIGINAL
SACRED FOOLS
ONE-ACT
REPRISES!

THE BEST OF...

(What's Fast & Loose?)


SLOW & TIGHT takes eight of the best scripts ever written for Fast & Loose, prepared with loving care over the course of five weeks (as opposed to the 24 hour time limit of F&L).

The result is a wonderfully eclectic night of theatre that includes:

* A corporate St. Nick and a working-stiff Easter Bunny having relationship problems.

* A clandestine camping trip in New York's Central Park

* A woman taking revenge on her sleazy ex-boyfriend in a very macabre way

* And lots more, that to describe would be to ruin, but suffice it to say you'll see birdwatchers, bird cages, puppets, political correctness, the Tooth Fairy, syringes, guns, cigarettes, the upwardly and downwardly mobile, and much more besides.

SLOW & TIGHT. You know you like it that way.

TWO IN THE BUSH
By Alexander Woo
Directed by Pogo Saito
STRAWMAN
By Dean Cameron
Directed by David LM Mcintyre
MIDTOWN ON GREEN
By Tara-Beth Conolly
Directed by Ruth Silveira
MILLIONS
By Joshua Rebell
Directed by Benjamin Davis
BIG TRAPS
By Padraic Duffy
Directed by John Williams
FAIRY TAIL
By Gerald McClanahan
Directed by Ruth Silveira
MY ONLY SUNSHINE
By Joe Jordan
Directed by Denise Barnard
OPIUM THEATRE
By Paul Plunkett
Directed by Pogo Saito

...THE ENSEMBLE...
Mikhail Blokh, Tom Costello, LaTonya Davis,
Victor Isaac, Haven Hartman, Crystal Keith,
Michael Lanahan, Mathew Moore, Jacob Sidney,
Ariadne Shaffer, Philip Sokoloff and John Wuchte

Light Design: Chris Childs
Sound Design: Jason Tuttle
Producers: Aaron Francis & John Williams

REVIEWS!

THE PLAY REVIEW

This is not slow!  In fact, it's one of the fastest moving couple of hours you can spend laughing your head off.  However, it is tight!  Well, almost all of it is tight.  When Two in the Bush starts, it's so off the wall, you wonder how long the writer Alexander Woo has been out of the home, but soon you realize that the actors themselves have strayed away from Nurse Ratchet's grip - - - especially Philip Sokoloff who brings life to two sock puppets like you've never seen.  Bird watchers John Wuchte and Ariadne Shaffer carry on a hilarious conversation so laced with sexual innuendo, if this were Boston, it'd be banned!

Another winner is the relationship between Santa and the Easter Bunny in Fairy Tail.  Their sex life is getting dull, so Victor Isaac (EB) and Mikhail Blokh (Nick) try for a three-some - with the Tooth Fairy (Tom Costello).   Since Nick is always busy making toys, and EB only gets to work once a year, author Gerald McClanahan writes some crazy dialog that has EB grumbling about having to hide his gifts while Nick gets to show them off.  TF grumbles about being always broke, giving out all those quarters! 

The closer, Opium Theatre, is wildly reminiscent of Weekend with Bernie, but better.  In a play within a play, the actors are zonked out in a stupor, injected with opium, while their "handlers" move their limbs, shake their heads and force their actions to fit the dialog about a chiropractor who is offended because her male patient wears women's lingerie.  Crystal Keith and Victor Isaac are the drugged out human puppets and LaTonya Davis and Matthew Moore play the "puppet masters".  Besides being funny, this is totally bizarre.

In Big Traps, two characters show up wearing a cage around their head.  Each is married to the wrong person, metaphorically trapped in the cage, but like all stories, a happy ending seems nearby.  In spite of its message it's full of laughs Tom Costello, Crystal Keith, Ariadne Shaffer and Jacob Sidney are the couples.

On the dark side, Midtown on the Green with John Wutche and Mikhail Blokh has a "come-uppance" theme, as does Millions with Michale Lanahan and Jacob Sidney, which ends in a gory climax.  My Only Sunshine, with Haven Hartman, Ariadne Shaffer and Michael Lanahan, brings an eerie ghostly hint of body transference, drugs and lots of sex.

A simulated argument between two audience members during a scene in Strawman didn't quite hit the mark or have much impact, notwithstanding Michael Lanahan and LaTonya Davis really carrying on over smoking in the play.  Haven Harment and Michael Lanahan are two lovers engaged in manual sex, because she's not into sex on the third date - - - and besides, they're brother and sister.

Oh well-not for nothing are they called Sacred Fools!

-- Jose Ruiz
2002 The Play Review

BACKSTAGE WEST

Giving playwrights, directors, and actors 24 hours to create short plays, Sacred Fools has produced a number of evenings titled Fast & Loose. Writers pulled several words out of a hat to launch scripts, which were assigned to directors, who likewise pulled names of actors from a hat; rehearsals and the performance occupied the remaining few hours. But the plays were then lost in the ether--until this compendium gathered the best and brightest scripts and offered them a fuller, more considered production. Much may be said for the right-brained writing. The scripts are cohesive, whimsical, purposeful, and ultimately memorable. And they lack the often apparent evidence of the rewriting process that can stunt longer, more considered writing.

At the evening's most fanciful, Two in the Bush, by Alexander Woo, directed by Pogo Saito, finds a man (Philip Sokoloff) folding laundry and creating sweetly adoring sock puppets, while--either in his imagination or out his window--he observes two clenched English birdwatchers (Ariadne Shaffer and John Wuchte) contemplate naughtily named birds. Fairy Tail, by Gerald McClanahan, directed by Ruth Silveira, finds life partners St. Nick (Mikhail Blokh) and the Easter Bunny (Victor Isaac) at home, bickering and awaiting another special-occasion visitor (Tom Costello). At the evening's most sardonic, in Strawman, by Dean Cameron, directed by David LM Mcintyre, two characters (Haven Hartman and Matthew Moore) begin a noticeably dreadful scene but are quickly interrupted by "audience members"--one or the other of whom says what most of us have longed for years to interject at the theatre. Opium Theater, by Paul Plunkett, directed by Saito, features LaTonya Davis and Moore, perhaps as medical personnel--more precisely, as Japanese-style puppeteers--manipulating two opium addicts (the flexible-bodied Crystal Keith and Isaac) to create "art."

Midtown on Green, by Tara-Beth Conolly, directed by Silveira, finds two men (Blokh and Wuchte), who seem not to know each other as well as they should, spending the night together camping in New York's Central Park. In Millions, by Joshua Rebell, directed by Benjamin Davis, two men in an attic (Michael Lanahan, Jacob Sidney) find that revenge is a dish best swung coldly. In My Only Sunshine, by Joe Jordan, directed by Denise Barnard, a seemingly pure maiden (Hartman) haunts her former lover (Lanahan) and his new flame (Shaffer). And at the evening's most deliciously neo-absurdist, Big Traps, by Padraic Duffy, directed by John Williams, finds mismatched couples (Costello and Keith, Shaffer and Sidney) dining out and playing out their respective rationalities.

Told simply, effectively, with humor and exhilarating imagination, these eight tales suit many tastes. The direction is uniformly imaginative; the acting amply satisfactory. These Fools we'll suffer gladly.

-- Dany Margolies
2002 Backstage West