Sunday, February 17, 2013

Love Bites – Volume XI – An Evening of Dysfunctional, Not-So Romantic Short Plays – When it doesn’t kiss, suck, or blow, it bites! - By Various Writers.

By Joe Straw

Elephant Theatre Company presents Love Bites Volume XI February 7th through March 2, 2013.

It is wonderful to see that The Elephant Theatre Company has opened their doors once again after a brief hiatus. And when you go, you are bound to see the proverbial elephant in the room, something so different, it will knock your socks off.

The night starts off wonderfully when patrons bring a photo of their ex for a five dollar discount.  Then the folks at Elephant present those pictures on stage to talk about the relationships that went sour.  The photos are then torn in dramatic fashion into tiny pieces much to the delight of the audience. 

In Love Bites there is something for everyone.

There’s No Place Like Home by Nikki McCauley and nicely directed by Tony Gatto is the story of a man, Jake (Corby Griesenbeck) a southern man, pants down, sitting on a toilet in a ladies restroom when Stella (Etienne Eckert) finds him there and asks him to leave so that she can smoke her crack. Jake has quite a bit of fun not leaving and the ending is unexpected and superb.

Superhero by Mark Harvey Levine and directed by Marisa O’Brien is a very interesting play about Rachel (Tara Norris) who ties herself up in the hopes of roping a man, Leonard (Colin Day), when a superhero intrudes upon her life.  Of course the superhero (Leonard) wants nothing to do with her.  It is cute and fun with nice performances by Norris and Day.

"Stay strong citizen!" - Superhero

Circle Dance by John C. Davenport and directed by Max Williams is the story of a sexually charged man (Ben Belack) and an equally charged woman (Laura Harman) dancing their way to happiness with a slight conflict along the way.  

Jinxed by Alex Mavromatis and directed by Lindsay Allbaugh and David Fofi was one of my favorites of the night.  In an end of the world scenario Meatloaf (Amy French) a Ph.D. games specialist from Brandeis University and Stringbean (Darryl Armbruster) a geek who hoards food, especially Whoopee Pies, are the only two people left on earth and they have a hard time getting along.  They are able to survive only on their wits, weggies, and indian burns, despite the fact both are jinxed. There are a lot of wonderful back and forth moments and a lot of physical action wonderfully directed by Allbaugh and Fofi. Amy French is an incredible actress who makes the most of the simple moments on stage with an unsurpassed level of concentration. Darryl Armbruster is equally impressive and creates a grand physical life onstage.  Wonderful to watch!

Splitting Hares by Brett Hursey and directed by Chris Game is a marvelous story about a couple seeking help from a marriage counselor.  Annie (Cheryl Huggins) is upset that her husband Ron (Salvator Xuereb) likes to dress up in bunny ears and bounce around the room all the while eating carrots.  It is up to Dr. Harvey (Eric Bunton) to get them to see each other’s point of view.

“Look at Ron and reassure him that you are not laughing.” – Dr. Harvey

It is hard not to laugh.

Humpty Dumpty by Deana Barone directed by Lindsay Allbaugh is the story of He (Marco Naggar) and She (Nikki McCauley) telling a story using an egg to complete the narrative. There are a lot of wonderful moments in this play, but it is dark and one can hardly see anything. But the things that are visible are wonderful.

The Name Game by Gloria Calderon Kellett directed by Brendan Farrell is a sexually free for all  story of Paul (Nelson DelRosario) and Sarah (Maya Parish) role playing in bed without playing in bed.  Trouble is the only thing that arises when Paul lets slip the name of Sarah’s friend Jenny.  Sarah lets it be known that she has a fascination for Seth Rogen.

“Why do you think of unattainable celebrity?” – Paul

Studio Head by Louis Jacobs and directed by Amelia French is a devishish and wicked story about Carrie (Patricia Rae), a studio head, and her current male prostitute, Adam (John Charles Meyers) ,who wants to walk around in his briefs and convince his lover to put him in a film.

The night is kept going in between scenes when all of the actors chip in and change the settings for the next play.  They dance the set away as they dance the night away.  Wonderfully done!  Marvelous, simply marvelous.  

The Elephant Theatre Company has a knack of providing quality and refreshingly new entertainment.  And it’s always a pleasure to go there.  I'm glad they are back.

Artistic Directors - David Fofi and Lindsay Allbaugh
Producing Director - Greg Borrud
Managing Director - Rick Bernstein
Produced by - Tara Norris and Cheryl Huggins
Press Representative - Ken Werther Publicity
Production Design - Elephant Stageworks
Stage Manager - Caitlin Rucker
Technical Directors - Matt Richter and Adam Hunter
Musical Director - Ben Caron
Asst Director/Propmaster - Danielle Ozymandias
Lighting Designer - Daniel Trostler
Graphics - Holler Morris
General Manager - Tony Foster
Lead House Manager - Caryl West
Program Design - Brad Steinbauer,

If you've ever had a love, wanted a love, needed a love, ran away from a love, or couldn't find a love, run to see these shorts!  You'll discover your love life might not be all that complicated.

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