Of uneven caliber, these three monologues by writer-director Paul Hoan Zeidler share urban settings and violent motifs. In “So-So’s Sister,” the dreams of a Latina teen (Yecenia Torres) are shattered when the boyfriend she adores impregnates her mentally disabled sister. Soon afterward, their father is murdered, and she’s forced into the role of guardian and provider. In “Match Girl,” Jessica Graham (alternating with J.J. Pyle) portrays a woman who as a child engaged in S.I. (self-injury) by burning herself whenever she felt threatened or depressed. As an adult, she spurns clean-cut boyfriends and becomes a dominatrix who mutilates willing clients. In “The Good Boyfriend,” a regular Joe (Max Williams) hooks up with a rape victim and forgoes a normal sex life as he tries to nurse his girlfriend through her trauma. As a director, Zeidler keeps the pace moving, with Adam Hunter’s lighting design aptly punctuating changes in time, place and mood. But the script itself packs too many contrivances and sensationalistic details. For all her earnest energy, Torres’ performance comes off as inauthentic, while the willowy Graham affects a jaded air that is effective until the bizarreness within her narrative spins out of control. Williams’ strong presence and assured delivery are likewise undercut by the writing. His piece is far too extended, and one in which the personality of the rape victim herself never comes into clear focus.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: March 28. Continues through May 17, 2008

LA Weekly