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Theater Reviews 

For the week of March 17 - 23

Wednesday, Mar 15 2006
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GO WASTE OF SHAME H-Bomb (Kyle Johnston) is a slacker’s slacker. Desperately avoiding gainful employment, he rants dementedly about flying saucers and environmental threats, and sponges off his roommate and former frat brother Chris (Johnny Clark). Chris, too conventional to be an underachiever, has a job, an apartment, a formidable CD collection, and a fiancée. He’s a vicarious slacker, relishing (perhaps envying?) and enabling H-Bomb’s do-nothing life. Chris’ live-in fiancée, Melanie (Kimberly Rose Wolter), seems more interested in their impending $30,000 wedding than in Chris, and she’s hell-bent on persuading him to expel the scruffy, parasitical H-Bomb from their apartment. At first, writer-director Ron Klier’s play seems like a funny, amiable character comedy, till, at the end of Act I, a shocking discovery transforms it into a suspense drama. The discovery, however, is merely a MacGuffin, never explained or referred to again, and the play segues into an existential tragicomedy as bleak as anything in Beckett. Though inventive and brilliantly written, the play’s manipulations leave one feeling faintly hoaxed, and the characters are more exasperating than sympathetic. But the production is wonderful, with sure-footed and precise direction, terrific actors, and a quirkily cluttered set by John G. Williams. VS. Theater Company at Elephant Theater, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru April 9. (323) 860-3283. (Neal Weaver)

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Reach the writer at dthomas@laweekly.com

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