Alan Ayckborn's 1974 slate of five one-acts, under John Pleshette's tight direction of an exemplary cast, illustrates the comical consequences when we choose not to listen to each other. In "Mother Figure," a quarreling couple (Steve Wilcox and Abigail Revasch) have to revert to childhood in order to connect with each other during an encounter with a formidably maternal neighbor (Mina Badie). "Drinking Companions" offers us a traveling salesman (Brendan Hunt) in a hotel bar masking his loneliness with pathetic yet hilarious attempts at seducing two increasingly harried young women (Revasch and Phoebe James). What a waiter (Hunt) hears is all that we hear too in "Between Mouthfuls," as dialogue of one dining couple (Adrian Neil and Bridget Ann White) is intercut with that of another (Wilcox and Jones), slyly revealing a salacious secret. "Gosforth's Fete" turns into a debacle as the organizer of a charity event (Neil) learns a secret from a local teacher (Badie) that wreaks havoc for him and the teacher's fiancé (Hunt). And in "A Talk in the Park," a quintet of disparate folks (Hunt, James, Neil, White and Wilcox) finds their desperate attempts to connect with each other sadly falling on deaf ears. The Lost Studio, 130 S. La Brea Ave., L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 4 p.m.; thru March 7. (323) 960-5775.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 4 p.m. Starts: Jan. 15. Continues through March 7, 2010