Written by Howard Skora
Directed by Jim Fall
The wonderful Whitefire Theatre is host to yet another world premiere.
“Damaged Furniture” is a comedy about an LA actor, almost aging out of the Hollywood system, who gets the news from his agent about a new series being built around his small role as a bi-sexual robot in a sci-fi TV drama, propelling him into the echelons of “working actor” just as he steps off a plane in New York to attend his uncle’s funeral.
This not so classic set-up is the framework for this hilarious play. Doug, the actor, ends up being too late for the service, held at his family’s furniture store in Brooklyn. His Aunt Laurie is still in the store sobbing when he arrives, and is not impressed with his tardiness. Especially since Doug’s sister Gina had to fill in for him with the eulogy…”she was terrible.” She also describes in gruesome detail how his uncle died, fulfilling his tawdry and apparently rampant sexual desires for upholstered recliners and one in particular, a Versace original, or “the whore” as his aunt prefers to refer to it, which collapsed during the act in what one can only imagine was a vigorous enough way to end poor old uncle.
Next we meet the sister Gina who explains that their father Phil has had a recent bout with eye cancer, now has a glass eye and not to look at it or talk about it as he would get upset. Doug, who had no idea that his father was ill, is furious and begins to realize why he left for LA all those years ago. His mother Irene reminds him why all the more and, by the time his alcoholic father makes his sickly entrance, we are all wishing Doug a swift return to La La land. His family, however, has other plans.
I could go on, but I feel I should leave you all with many unanswered questions and an urge to see the show, which you absolutely should.
This is a brilliant, laugh-out-loud comedy with gorgeously awful characters to love. Of course, every single actor is fantastic, I really couldn’t single anyone out…no point. But the writing is the star here. Howard Skora has invented quite a kooky and ridiculous lot. All brimming with psychosis and bitterness and unspoken fears…hilarious. The humor is loud and frank and beautifully wrought by these impressive actors, their perfect timing and their delicious characters. Bravo to the director Jim Fall for giving the words and the actors the room they needed to be this good.
I highly recommend “Damaged Furniture” at The Whitefire Theatre.
Running through August 25, Saturdays at 8PM
Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91423
Alex Skuby - Doug
Mo Collins - Laurie
Robert Mangiardi - Phil
Jessica Pohly - Gina
Peggy Maltby Etra - Irene
Kevin Vasquez - Lighting Design
Dusti Cunningham - Set Design & Props
Brian Levin - Video & Sound Designer
Jaime Capone - Stage Manager
David Svengalis - Technical Director
Alan Wethern - Script Supervisor
Lukas Berg - Graphics & Poster Design
Nora Feldman - Publicist