“Brushes: A Comedy of Hairs,” written by Cathy Hamilton and Carol Starr Schneider, directed by Kevin Bailey, runs through May 4 at the Whitefire Theatre.
We’ve all had that one (or 10) bad hairdos (the wedge bob with the side shaved, that perm, cheap extensions, frosted tips, those braids, peroxide bangs, big hair, big hair dried out by Aquanet, etc.) and countless bad hair days. Now there’s a play about it! Or is it?
“Brushes: A Comedy of Hairs” does a hilarious job of untangling the complicated, frustrating, annoying, unfair, “Why me?!” relationship between women and their hair, since, well, forever.
This is a series of 17 vignettes that brushes on topics of disaster, envy, vanity, self-doubt, sex, death, potential divorce and even aliens. But what sweeps up, twists and ties all these together into a joyful play is always hair – big hair, no hair, long hair, helmet hair, thin hair and down-there hair.
The fab five cast plays more than a dozen roles. Each vignette is woven seamlessly to the next with vintage hair commercials and a play on words that hints at what’s to come. Yes, you’ll sing the Finesse jingle all night and think that you can pull off Farrah hair.
There are some standout vignettes but we won’t give away their official names.
The “Lady Garden” vignette is one for the true Los Angeleno. It’s a nod to the “OverheardLA” posts. At first there’s nothing amiss with the organic dye vendor played flawlessly by Heidi Appe. But the exaggerations grow and the flowery play on words for one’s lady garden buds, blooms and blossoms. Andrew Villareal weaves in additional laughs as a fruit vendor with an ode to Jeff Spicoli of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”
The “People’s Court aka Almost Going to Divorce You Court” vignette was directed superbly by Kevin Bailey. The banter and timing between the couple, Amy Smallman-Winston and Andrew Villareal, was like a ping pong match and their chemistry was like that of a disgruntled couple. We will not look at bobble head figurines the same way.
“Bad Hair Motel” is like “Rocky Horror” meets any TLC make over show. We all can relate to having a day when a hat is the only thing that will help the unruly head of hair. The entire cast comes in this one to make us hoot and dry a tear of laughter.
After several readings, including one at the former NoHo Arts Center, the play is making it’s debut at Whitefire Theatre for their spring season of shows. “Brushes” is directed by Kevin Bailey of MB Artists, which has created and produced more than 50 theatrical productions, three films and dozens of industrials. Co writers Cathy Hamilton and Carol Starr Schneider have done a lovely job of collecting nostalgic hair clips that gel with each vignette theme.
There is something joyful about being entertained live, surrounded by folks laughing at words written by a stranger and then interpreted by others who become our friends for that hour and a half.
The “Brushes” takeaway is simple: we are worth way more than our hair.
13500 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, 91423
March 30 – May 4
Saturdays at 8PM
Heidi Appe, Clara Rodriguez, Amy Smallman-Winston, Ashley Taylor and Andrew Villareal.
Go behind the scenes of “Brushes” – follow them on Facebook>>
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