7313 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Region: West Hollywood
As with most strokes of genius, the sheer comic brilliance of Joe Jordan and Vanessa Claire Stewart's tour de force of malicious movie-biz mockery lies in the blinding simplicity of its central question: How bad can bad writing get? For an answer, Stewart assembled a jaw-dropping collection of abysmally clueless, semiliterate spec screenplays during her purgatorial stint in a Hollywood story department. In their now long-running series, Stewart and Jordan put the cache to the test in staged readings by pontifical host Thurston Eberhard Hillsboro-Smythe (Brandon Clark) and Magnum Opus' peerless crew of sardonic, script-skewering clowns. The rest is side-splitting history. This encore remounting of the born-again Christian surfer thriller Surf Dogs Unite once again finds the fornicating agnostic surf bum Dan (the hilarious Michael Lanahan) caught in a tug-of-war for his immortal soul by satanic biker Wrench (a deadpan-perfect Troy Vincent) and Bible-packing beach evangelical Joshua (Eric C. Johnson). Director Clark and the ensemble up the insanity by ceaseless visual punning on the hapless screenwriter's ludicrously purple dialogue ("Once again the sun aborts the night") and cliché-ridden prose while mercilessly pouncing on what proves to be a satirist's goldmine of typos, malapropisms and outrageous continuity blunders. Performs in repertory with Le Phoenix Vert and Star-Crossed Love. Actors Circle Theatre, 7313 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Sat., 11 p.m.; through Sept. 15. (323) 380-0649, MagnumOpusPlayers.org.
Saturdays, 11 p.m. Starts: July 28. Continues through Sept. 15, 2012