Went to City Lights for the six short plays event, and it was much fun, with bonuses. The first bonus is long time actor buddy Jeremy Koerner was in the cast for what I thought was far and away the best play. Jeremy and I did Room Service and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy too many years ago at Menlo Players. It's been too long since we've been onstage together, but we keep in touch. The next bonus was his One True Love™ Mary was sitting next to me, but we didn't recognize each other till we both went to say hi to Jeremy after the show. She's an amazing actress in her own right, though we have never worked together (I've seen her in a few things).
These were all 10-minute plays, all worthy of a staged reading. Acting and directing was mostly very good. The plays:
The Basement: The cable guy arrives at the home of a batty middle-aged woman who keeps trying to lure him into the basement. She channels the thoughts of her overlord through a stuffed panda. It had its moments. By David Schreiber.
Underground: Retired coal miner relaxing with a six pack out in the woods is intruded on by the city boy lawyer his lawyer daughter is dating. He assumes he is going to be asked for her hand in marriage. Pretty boring. Actors' volume was too low, but there really wasn't much to this one. By Jody Handley.
Staying Clean: A Football Player and His Higher Power: Rhett is a retired football player who is struggling to stay clean and sober, but his back is killing him. He wishes for someone to talk to, to help him, and his prayers are answered when super-cute cheerleader Scarlette jumps out of the TV set into his living room. Some excellent seeds of ideas, but wordy, confused and did not live up to its potential. By Kari Ann Owen.
Shrink in the Box: A psychiatrist tries to convince a banker to invest in his new idea: fast mental health care, based on the fast food model. My choice for far and away the best play of the evening. Clever writing, great basic idea, well-directed by Amy Himes with super visual aid props, and amazing acting by Jeremy Koerner as the shrink and George S. Gemette as the banker. By Ross Peter Nelson.
A Covering: A cult Christian dad tries to drag his teenaged daughter out of a beauty parlor because it is against his religion for her to cut her hair. The opening father-daughter exchange is way too long and repititious, but over all a fine piece. By Leah Halper.
The Sloth Pit: The woman in charge of Hell's section for receiving new souls which have been damned for the sin of sloth discovers someone has let out all the snakes. Her handyman/animal handler is no help at all. Basically it's The Office, set in Hell. Lots of clever dialog, but could use some tightening and more ideas for snake substitutes. Sarah Kishler was the woman in charge, and Pat Cross read the stage directions. I know both of them from Santa Clara Players and the monthly scene reading group in Milpitas. By Valerie Leghorn.