The Ichabod’s Cranium Players presentation of “Dark Arts” written by Lawerence Meyers and directed by Gabriela Tagliavini, currently running at The Complex Theatre in Hollywood.
When I arrived at the theatre, I found the whole block teeming with enthusiastic theatregoers waiting to see more than a dozen choices of plays. I was attending my first Hollywood Fringe Festival and I had no idea what to expect. As I entered the theatre, I saw that the stage was simply set with two desks and a couple of laptops. I took it as a good sign. A simple set meant that most of my attention would be on the writing and the acting.
"Dark Arts" is a story set in the high-paced and highly strung world of big business low morals. Our two heroes, or anti-heroes as it were; Lindsey Klein, portrayed with deft precision by Stephanie Hyden and her partner Andrew St. John, played with a naturalistic flair by the playwright Lawerence Meyers; were a perfect fit. The chemistry between them was at once both caustic and caring. Lindsey’s deep affection for her business partner was handled with restraint and subtley. As for the fast-talking Andrew, whose words cut like a knife, his fondness for Lindsey was more obvious, expertly betrayed by the sweetness in his eyes when their moments turned more personal.
The writing was taut and fast. It reminded me of the fast, no nonsense dialogue that you would find in a Howard Hawkes movie of the 1940s. The supporting cast brilliantly rounded out the assorted characters in the plot with special notice to Terence Leclere’s portrayal of the “automaton” Bill Carterwaul. The plot was ingenious, but the snappy dialogue and the interesting characters is what makes this fringe play enjoyable to watch and experience. The sound and lighting helped to keep us in the mood, and the final scene added more depth detail and made me want to find out what happened next to Klein and St. John. I felt as though I was at the beginning of something much, much bigger - a window on a world with a lot more to share.
The show runs at The Complex Theatre in Hollywood until June 23. I hope the rest of the shows I watch are this fun and thought provoking.
Selected Dates and times:
June 3 8:30pm
June 10 5:30pm
June 17 10pm
June 21 8:30pm
June 23 10pm
Tickets for all three shows are available at
Tickets for the traditional proscenium show are also available at:
Cast: (in alphabetical order)
Marcia Bradford - Elizabeth Dement
Rep. Max Waters - Damien Gerard
Lindsey Klein - Stephanie Hyden
Bill Caterwaul - Terence Leclere
Andrew St. John - Lawerence Meyers
Honey Rivllin - Toni Perrotta
Sheryl Harrison - Erika Quintana
Blogger’s Voice - Carl Kozlowski
Reporter’s Voice - D.C. Douglas
Writer-Producer: Lawerence Meyers
Director: Gabriela Tagliavini
Stage Manager - Eric Bridges