They're Just Like Us

The Cheap Trick classic “I Want You to Want Me” is a perfect description of the characters in Boo Killebrew’s tongue-in-cheek exploration of modern celebrity culture and the voyeuristic, gossip-loving public that supports it. More a series of interwoven vignettes than a linear through line, the story examines the lives of celebrities, including character-actress Beth (Lisa Clifton) and hip-hop diva Biz (Grace Eboigbe); those involved with them, Beth’s boyfriend, Richard (Nicholas Williams), and Frank (Joel Scher), who is dating someone “in the business”, and those who wish they were celebrities — basically, everyone else. In a clever inversion of the accepted hierarchy, the individual stories eventually dovetail when everyone meets up at the “outer space birthday party” of Marty (Edward Tournier), a mentally challenged boy who dresses like Elliot from E.T. and is clearly unhip. While the dialogue is clever and occasionally downright funny, lampooning many touchstones of celebrity culture, the characters’ stories make them hard to invest in. Nonetheless, Elina de Santos’ nimble direction makes use of every corner of Erin Brewster’s catwalk-style set and elicits solid performances from the cast. Hiwa Bourne’s costumes are also a highlight, as the cast goes through more changes than your average runway model. Theatre of NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Aug. 3. (323) 856-8611. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: June 27. Continues through Aug. 3, 2008


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