All the Help You Need: The Adventures of a Hollywood Handyman

“Who the fuck are you?,” shouts a gun-toting assailant as the lights come up. While we are not sure who the gunman is, we quickly discover that he is a character played by Tim Ryan Meinelschmidt, in his one-man show that chronicles life as a Hollywood handyman. Meinelschmidt describes getting into show business, his first performance on Broadway and moving to Los Angeles, where he started handyman work during an actors’ strike. He recounts jobs done for everyone from Ann the Filipina stripper, to Werner, a foulmouthed German perfectionist, to a fat lady with 57 cats. To add atmosphere to these anecdotes, director Christopher Fessenden has Meinelschmidt build and unbuild the set, which looks like a carpenter’s workshop. Though Meinelschmidt’s impressions of the characters are uneven, there are some solid comic moments, especially in his descriptions of one-upmanship with his friend and co-worker, Mark. Toward the end, the piece turns darker, describing a terrible incident that Meinelschmidt witnessed in Tarzana. Only then do we learn the story behind the gunman from the opening, a chilling climax based on a real-life violent crime. Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: March 9. Continues through April 6, 2008


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