Directed by Elina de Santos
This week in theater with Rose Desena
The Rogue Machine, once again, comes through with their Off the Clock Series. “Dirty Filthy Love Story” is hilarious, dark, amusing, and thoroughly entertaining. Elina de Santos does a brilliant job at directing and takes this production right over the top.
When I wasn’t laughing, I was waiting for another surprise. Three minutes into the show the audience gets a good laugh as the stage physically unfolds to expose one of the most creative sets I have seen in quite a while. The comedy continues as the story goes from dirty trash to strange love.
Oh, don’t worry there is a lot in between. The story moves through a series of layers exposing unexpected twists turns and deep dark secrets. When I first saw the press release for “Dirty Filthy Love Story”, I said to myself, “Hmm, this sounds kind of cool.” I figured maybe it would be about dirty, filthy sex. Nope, not a chance! It is about filth: smelly garbage kind of filth.
Ashley (Jennifer Pollono) is a lonely deranged woman who has a hoarding problem, a dead husband, and a mother who keeps calling her. She seemed very comfortable in her trash filled life. Her neighbor Benny (Burl Moseley), on the other hand, is not. Moseley magnificently portrays her neighbor. His big concern is that the junk piled on the side of her house will keep him from selling his house, and his desperate attempt to get her yard cleaned up just didn’t go according to plan, and before you know it he is tied up in a chair.
Hal, the hired hand, (Joshua Bitton) is a sucker for a little attention and ends up with a lot more than just a hot roll on the garbage heap. Bitton is very believable as a social misfit, who is passionate about his job as the junk man and being Ashley’s man.
The stage design was fabulous thanks to David Mauer and Hazel Kuang. The team really made this a visual treat that goes down well.
Hoarding has become a bit of a cultural phenomenon these days; it lends itself to great story telling by both the hoarders and those who are affected by them.
I don’t know if Rob Mersolas is a hoarder, but he seems to be a little obsessed with dysfunctional love. One of his other plays “Love Sucks” was a good look at the art of dating, bad love, good sex and screwed up perceptions of what love is or should be. It was much like this one: suspenseful, funny, dark and very creative. In my opinion, Mersolas is well on his way to becoming one of the most noted writers of our time.
If you want a good laugh check this out.
The Rogue Machine usually goes on hiatus for a few months over the winter. I will really miss them. Right now their ticket price is only $20 – $25. It’s really a great deal in terms of entertainment value. Check out their site for ticket info and other events like “Rant and Rave”, which runs thru their down time.
Written-by Rob Mersola
Directed- by Elina de Santos
Cast- Joshua Bitton, Burl Moseley, Jennifer Pollono
Dirty Filthy Love,
Rogue Machine Theater 5041 Pico Blvd, Los Angeles Ca.
Friday 8pm /2 shows on Saturdays 8pm and 10 pm.
Running through Feb. 10th.