On the ground level, Weill’s production is noticeably uneven. Her cast is energetic but rarely rises above Okay, with Navin scoring some points for vulnerability, though Pudi, in his turban, prep-school blazer and crooked necktie, exudes none of the lanky charm expected of even a frat-row Lothario. Although it more resembles a used-book store than Michele’s library, Craig Siebels’ book-encrusted set is a splendidly chaotic landscape of reading, and, with its Murphy bed–like shelves that swing down, admirably utilitarian. Still, its torn-off book covers glued to flat boards remind us of the bait-and-switch nature of Huck & Holden, a play that promises literary discovery but which never gets past the titles.?
HUCK & HOLDEN | By RAJIV JOSEPH | At the BLACK DAHLIA THEATRE, 5453 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. | Through November 19 | (323) 525-0070 or www.thedahlia.com