Schnazzy definitely comes to mind when thinking about the latest run of Hollywood Shorts at the Whitefire Theater. If you’re familiar with the 99 seat house on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, you know there is a rotating cycle of original “shorts” that always promises to entertain. This round does just that. Produced by Jake O’Flaherty and Bryan Rasmussen, eight 10 minute comedies and dramedies are written by professional writers and actors, and performed by recognizable television and film actors. The transitions are seamless (in part thanks to David Svengalis running the lights and sound), and the laughs – whether a snicker here and there, or a laugh out loud ha ha, are so worth your time!! Here’s a snippet for each:
Paul Pape and Liz Bliss opened the show with Waiting for Go, a sexy comedy piece written and directed by Ken Levine. Pape and Bliss have a natural chemistry that makes you want them to be together, even though the circumstance they’re in questions why. These two are “pleasurable” to see on stage.
Home is a Four Letter Word, written and directed by Wayne Robbins, gets romance ramped up with a little help from the Jerry Kernion as the Home Depot Guy. Talking about chemistry, Tony Nunes as Josh and Geoff Kennedy as Bill had me believing in true love and commitment and rooting for them all the way!
Toni Perotta wrote and starred with Pam Trotter In Laws Out Laws, directed by Cleo King. They made cutting coupons look like fun. The one liner twist and turns were hysterical.
Interview with a Cat was absolutely charming. Written by Jim Geoghan and directed by Bryan Rasmussen, Bruno Oliver and Evan Arnold end the first half with such charming humor. Arnold, as the cat, is a pure delight and Oliver’s reactions are priceless.
Opening Statement was undoubtedly my favorite. It’s the first time a “monologue” is been part of the “Shorts” series, and it is truly clever! Written and performed by Dan Frischman and directed by Bryan Rasmussen, the audience becomes the jury and is taken on a journey! You’ll have to see it to find out with whom! Truly brilliant!
Teas and Scones showed us a bit more of a dark, dramatic side, written by Ed Horowitz and directed by Bryan Rasmussen (the rest of the shorts are directed by Rasmussen). Performed by Cris D’Annunzio, Bill Chott, William Cannon and Joyce Fidler, New York was brought to life in a 24 hour diner. This was the type of piece I would love see developed into a full length play. The characters are fascinating, and the interactions between D’Annunzio and Chott were captivating, especially those intense moments when they weren’t saying anything.
The Masochism Tango reminded me of the dating life in Los Angeles. Written by Bruce Kane and beautifully performed by J. Teddy Graces and Jossara Jinaro, it was a piece that was relatable and hysterical. Those two have an impeccable comedic rhythm going on, too!
Andy Rooster Bloch’s Showcase ended the evening with punchline after punchline with an ending ka-pow performed by Carla Collins and Tyrone Power Jr.
Time flew by with laugh after laugh! What a great way to spend a Monday night! Hollywood Shorts performs at the Whitefire Theater every Monday night at 8 pm through November 23, 2015.