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Fellowship!: Musical Parody of The Lord of the Rings Returns to the Steve Allen Theater, Plus the Latest New Theater Reviews

Click here for all the latest New Theater Reviews

Also, check out this week's Stage Feature on Cornerstone Theater Company's first entry in its "Hunger Cycle," Café Vida. Also currently up, a reaction to the invaluable, ever-provocative Colin Mitchell's post on L.A. Stage Alliance's panel last week on arts criticism.

NEW THEATER REVIEWS, scheduled for publication May 10, 2012

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Fellowship!: Musical Parody of The Lord of the Rings Returns to the Steve Allen Theater, Plus the Latest New Theater Reviews
Eli Russell Linnetz

Playwright Clara Mamet is the daughter of that other more famous playwright named Mamet, and has clearly learned a thing or two about writing exchanges that snap and sneer. In "The Solvit Kids," which she co -wrote with Jack Quaid, a pair of teen actors (Mamet and Sol Mason), known for playing kid detectives in a movie series adapted from a famous set of young-adult novels, desperately try to pen one last mystery movie following the death of the author who gave them careers. Although director Paul Sand's staging moves quickly and Mamet imbues her lines with some snarky simmer, it is hard to relate to any situation that appears onstage: The emotions don't ring true or correlate to anything that might happen in reality, producing an off-putting effect. In "Paris," which Mamet wrote on her own, a young girl (Mamet again) and her intellectual father (John Pirruccello) drink coffee and talk about their love lives. We might suspect that may be the sort of conversation the Mamet family has at the breakfast table on a slow Sunday morning -- but even here, the dialogue lacks depth, the performers are flat and the issues are too slight to sustain interest. Ruskin Group Theater, 3000 Airport Road, Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; through June 2. (310) 397-3244, ruskingrouptheatre.com. (Paul Birchall)

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