Modern Love

Anthony Mora's play is centered on a male obsession: Screenwriter-producer-director Jack (Rico Simonini) becomes convinced that studio receptionist Sharon (Laura McLauchlin) is the actual, living embodiment of the character he has created. He rashly attempts to cast her as the lead in his film, without consulting the studio or his co-producer. Despite the play's title, it's more about power than about love. Ruthless producer Carla (Ann Convery) and Jack mercilessly demonstrate to a young writer (Michelle Draper) how powerless she is, and she's soon superseded by Jack. Nymphet star Jillian (Aubrie Weinholt) uses her box-office clout to bully and humiliate those around her. Pushy Sharon uses her neediness as a weapon, and Jack's tenuous authority is undermined when he indulges in personal feelings. Eccentric preacher/con-man (Richard Rossi) seeks to save Jack's soul — and promote his own idea for a TV show. There may be a coherent play here somewhere, but, at present, Mora's script takes off in all directions, sometimes at the expense of logic and credibility. Director Chelsea Sutton faithfully deploys her able cast in service of the play. Sidewalk Studio Theatre, 4150 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., through February 21. (818) 558-5702 or info@sidewalkstudiotheatre.com.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Jan. 16. Continues through Feb. 21, 2009


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