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Out of Tune
a kate west review
written by Michael Loprete
directed by Phil LaMarr
at the Groundlings Theatre, 7307 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Running July 11- August 9; Mondays and Tuesdays, 8 p.m.; tix $10;
contact Groundlings Box Office at (323) 934-4747

Michael Loprete, musician and former Groundling (see, has reprised a piece of theater we can all relate to, now playing at his alma mater, the Groundlings Theatre. "Out of Tune" (formerly "Sounds from a Converted Garage") is a play about musicians relating their trouble with relationships, each member representing a different phase of dating. With clever dialogue and a likeable cast, Loprete and Director Phil LaMarr (of Mad TV fame) convey something we can all understand - dating sucks.

Accompanied by guitar recordings to set the mood, each band member tries to pursue a relationship, with varying results. Loprete plays John, whose girlfriend Caroline (in this performance played by spunky Paige King, who plays Melissa on other nights), wants to have a baby. Avoiding this commitment is making him (and everyone else having to put up with him) quite crazy. Stirling Greg Gardner plays Dan who is as selfish as they come and cannot understand why women won't stay with him. Kevin, (in this performance played by the engaging Michael Naughton), sadly pursues the wrong women. None of them are happy until the end of the piece, when the bad parts of the relationships are over and each character is able to move on with the rest of his life.

A simple truthful tale told with gentle mockery and guitar, the play is nicely entertaining. It showcases the insane way people behave in relationships and how that dynamic brings out our worst and best selves. Although it does not really teach us anything new, it is always fun to be able to laugh at ourselves, and of course, both the cast and the production staff are consummate professionals. Come and commiserate a little about relationships - and escape the summer heat.

Regular cast members also include Matt Winston (alternating with Michael Naughton as Kevin), Megahn Perry, Loretta Fox (Caroline on most nights), Nicole Ghastin, Cheselka Leigh, Kristen Shaw and Timothy Brennen


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