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The Mystery Plays 

Thursday, Apr 8 2010
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Though its title alludes to the biblical pageants of medieval Europe, playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s 2002 pair of supernatural-themed one-acts is actually a revival of a more modern and decidedly secular tradition — the ripping ghost yarn. “The Filmmaker’s Mystery” opens the evening as a delightful homage to the macabre pleasures of such Amicus omnibus fright classics as Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors. A routine train ride home for the holidays takes a fateful turn when gay horror-movie director Joe (a wryly matter-of-fact Christopher Biewer) is accidentally stranded on a platform during a stop and becomes the sole survivor of the train’s subsequent fatal wreck. The disaster’s publicity brings him instant career heat back in Hollywood, along with less desirable attention from the spirit of one victim (Frederick Dechow), a handsome neurologist with a gruesome secret, who was Joe’s flirtatious seatmate before the crash. “Ghost Children” charts a haunting of a more psychological and circumspect kind: Attorney Abby (Katherine McCoy) reluctantly returns to her childhood hometown to assist in the sentence-reduction appeal of her brother, Benny (Adam Dlugolecki), imprisoned for the slaying, 16 years ago, of their abusive parents and an innocent younger sister. The journey revives Abby’s suppressed memories of the murders along with her own passive culpability. A versatile ensemble (playing multiple roles) ably hits all of Aguirre-Sacasa’s notes of suspense in Scott Dittman’s crisply directed and atmospheric (courtesy of Jake Halverson’s eerie lights), bare-stage production. Knightsbridge Theater, 1944 Riverside Drive, L.A.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; through April 11. (323) 667-0955.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: March 19. Continues through April 11, 2010
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Reach the writer at braden@laweekly.com

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