from a Converted Garage
kate west review
by Michael Loprete, directed by Phil LaMarr, at the Groundlings Theatre, 7307
Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046 - Running April 14 - 29; contact (323) 934-4747
Loprete, musician and former Groundling,
has created a piece of theater we can all relate to, now playing at his alma mater,
the Groundlings Theatre. '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.
by Damon Jones strumming guitar to set the mood, each band member tries to pursue
a relationship, with varying results. Loprete plays John, whose girlfriend Caroline
(in this performance, understudied by spunky Paige King), 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,
understudied 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.
simple truthful tale told with gentle mockery and guitar, the play runs about
an hour and a half and is nicely entertaining as well as providing a good haven
from the endless rain. 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, the cast and production staff are consummate professionals.
cast members also include Matt Winston, Cameron Meyer, Cheselka Leigh, Nicole
Ghastin, Jessalyn Gilsig, Loretta Fox and Timothy Brennen.