Saturday, 11 July 2015 04:05

SUMMER SHORTS @ Whitefire Theatre

Written by Gerie Rhosen
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Summer Shorts is now showing on stage at the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks. It is twelve short acts full of comedy, laughs and just good acting. Bryan Rasmussen has directed a cool show for all to enjoy. 32 actors and dozens of emerging writers take to the stage to showcase all their collective creativity. Each act is a story onto itself and is well worth the cost of admission for the evening.

What’s so enjoyable about this production is that each set is very different and interesting.

They range from a support group for normal people, to the funny and realistic frustration of a wife over her husband’s snoring. In this scenario, she winds up taking matters into her own hands to fix the problem when the cops are called. It is cleverly written by Steve Korber and stars a very talented trio. Continuing down the list for the evening were two more acts worth mentioning. I’m Next, highlights the angst of two female actors played by Kelly Goodman and Suzanne Mayes. When they meet up for the same audition, the rivalry is on. Verbal jabs, singing stints, and physicality highlight the competition between them. Both of these women are excellent and Mr. Rasmussen does a great job of allowing this act to build. Here the actors showcase their talents without mucking it up with overdone sets and anxious directions. Another story to appreciate is Han Goes Solo. For all of us who remember the original Star Wars before Jar Jar Binks got involved, it was just Hans Solo, Chewy, Princess Leia and Yoda. Here in a great parody of their characters, Hans and the princess sit down with a divorce mediator. This is so very clever and the funny keeps rolling.

Tony Nunes appears to be multi-talented. Not only a good actor (he plays Hans), but a talented writer as well.

The second part of the evening did not stand out as much as the first. However, Mrs. California pageant is amusing. The behind the scenes of such things make us laugh, cringe and smile all the way to the end. The last act of the evening has two young men trying to get a free apartment in exchange for some personal services with the female building manager.

This is a theme done before, but here it appears fresh with a twist.

The difficulty in showcasing 32 actors on stage in an impractical pace before a packed house is not easy. Yet, the producer, Jake O’Flaherty pulls it off with the clever staged direction of Bryan Rasmussen. No over complicated settings, just smart and simple moving of the furniture with a wonderful large screen in the background that sets the tone for each of these one act plays.

The Whitefire has always encouraged development of original themes presented in an unusual and entertaining way. Twelve one act plays might have been too much for one sitting, perhaps nine was plenty. But despite the length of the evening, it did not feel overdone. Most of the acts were clever and humorous.

The monumental task of putting a show of this magnitude together needs to be appreciated.

Please join this huge cast on Tuesday evenings at 8PM at the Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks. It is only scheduled through August 4, 2015. whitefiretheater.com or (818)990-2324 for tickets.

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