Tuta Theatre West, the West Coast branch of experimental Chicago theater company Tuta Theatre, has collaborated with a pair of L.A. comedians (Jerry Richardson and the Groundlings' Andrew Friedman) who perform multiple roles in Marie Jones' incisive comedy. When a major Hollywood movie production barges in and takes over a small village in Ireland, two locals, Jake and Charlie, try to milk their experience as movie extras for all it's worth. Not only playing the two bickering friends, the actors don hats and scarves and use various signifiers, including altered physicality, to switch deftly from character to character, sometimes with stupefying alacrity. Throughout, the pair portray 15 characters of various ages, race and genders, each well delineated by their adroit personification. Frequently reverting back to the thick-brogued central duo, they also portray the invading Americans: a screaming assistant director, a campy production assistant and the movie's Southern-accented and revered leading lady. Just before the end of the boisterous first act, tragedy strikes. This abrupt change in tone is masterfully achieved by the two virtuosi, under Tuta artistic director Zeljko Djukic's confident direction. Natasha Djukic's basic costumes and spare yet versatile set design suggest a picturesque country field, a pub, the star's trailer and more without even trying, although the white wall upstage sets up an expectation of visual projections that never eventuate.

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Aug. 19. Continues through Sept. 17, 2011

LA Weekly