5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Valley Village, CA 91607
Region: San Fernando Valley
Now in its 10th year, Hurricane Season is a competition of short new plays. Block Two (reviewed here) continues over this weekend, with Block Three running Aug. 9-18. The audience favorites of the festival will receive awards in an Aug. 23 ceremony, and a jury will give monetary prizes to the top three best-written plays. In The Road to Paradise, by Caroline Marshall, Ryan McDonough plays a terminal patient with gallows humor. His fiancee (Rachel Kanouse) -- a frequent visitor to his hospital bed -- at first cannot account for his renewed lusty vigor and impassioned speeches. Marshall's dialogue is occasionally too theatrical when it needs to be natural, but this is a sweet, half-hour one-acter. Less successful is Dean Farell Bruggeman's decidedly unfunny satire Supermom, about a stay-at-home mom (dreadfully acted by playwright Caroline Marshall) who slaves for her ungrateful family. She is set on her true mission of saving the world by a sassy, colorful, African-American spirit guide, "Mother Earth." This clichd caricature is only partially rescued by the casting of Gabriel Green in drag. Harry M. Bagdasian's Carrying On is the best of the bunch. Its bittersweet tale of a developmentally challenged young man (Elliott Davis) anxious to break away from an oppressive, small-town home life is well plotted and nicely staged. Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Valley Village; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; through Aug. 18. (818) 508-3003, eclecticcompanytheatre.org.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: July 26. Continues through Aug. 18, 2013