This Week in Theater
Written by Alex Dremann
Do we exist without love? Does love give life meaning and purpose?
Colin (Trevor H. Olsen) sits in his cubicle of the “Existential Publishing Company” Farmann and Farmann. Fran (Jennifer Flack), who sits next to him, does not know he exists. Actually, no one in the office acknowledges him and the few times his neurotic boss Nancy addresses him demanding work to be done she mispronounces his name.
This is very disturbing for Colin. It seems to be affecting everything. It’s as if he is cursed. Even his writer whose work he is editing doesn’t seem to pay much attention to him. To make things worse, Colin is in love with Fran, so he desperately needs things to change. You have to feel a little sorry for him. He is like that kid at your high school who sat alone all the time and never got invited to parties. However, Colin has a secret friend, Ramona (Kirsten Vangsness), the office plant woman. While everyone is at lunch, Ramona casually drops by his cubicle and provides lunch with lots of hot sauce; she also coaches him on the Fran issue and decides she will help him overcome his dilemma. In addition, Ramona has a little help from Lawrence, who works in the Tech Department, and provides hacking support, which proves to be very useful.
Nancy (Gina Garcia Sharp) is a great character, and she runs around like a tyrant intimidating everyone, carrying empty file boxes to those who are being fired. Tim (Norm Johnson) is the aggressive and obnoxious colleague who manages to get all the attention, even though he does nothing. Carmen is not much better than Tim, and together they make a lot of gossip.
Personally, I think it is a godsend that no one notices him. Who needs the office politics, and you might have a better chance of missing the firing line if no one knows you are around. However, he has to solve this mystery so he can ask Fran out and be in line for a promotion. Kirsten Vangsness, is perfectly cast; she is delightful to watch, and she works well with Olsen as both his protagonist and his champion.
Vangsness’s day job is Garcia on the show Criminal Minds. It is always amusing to see a TV star that has a particular character take on a different personality. Her stage presence is great, and she seemed very comfortable. Joel Scher is hysterical as Kitty, the eccentric novelist who does not want her book to be too complicated. She finally decides to stop drinking and fooling around with her boyfriend long enough to finish the book. You will fall in love with every character.
The existential questions about love always makes for interesting story telling and what I like about “The Invisible Play” is it’s not too far out; the writer Alex Dremann creates a very digestible story even for a love cynic like me. It has a little twist and a nice ending. The stellar acting by every actor in the production along with good solid directing make this cute well-written script a sheer joy to watch. When I see acting this good on our little stages here in LA, it brings a tear to my eyes.
Just one minor complaint 85/90 minutes would have been better than having an intermission; it came in over 100 minutes. Whenever possible it is best to avoid an intermission.
This is a winner; check it out it has a short run so take a night off from shopping.
Runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday until December 21st
Written by Alex Dremann
Directed by Amanda Weier
Cast: Jennifer Flack, Gina Garcia-Sharp, Norm Johnson, Christopher Neiman, Trevor H. Olsen, Joel Scher, Kirsten Vangsness
THEATRE OF NOTE
1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, Ca