a kate west review
created by David Nadelberg
Running in Los Angeles: Wednesday, July 21 at 8 p.m. at the M Bar, 1253 (corner of Vine/Fountain), $5, for tix call (323) 856-0036
Running in New York: June 17 & 19 at 8 p.m.
at the Magnet Theater, 254 W. 29th Street, NYC 10001
for $10 tix call (212) 244-8824; www.getmortified.com
David Nadelberg, writer/producer/angstologist, has come up with the perfect idea for the perfectly simple show. Humiliate your actors by having them read their teenage and childhood diary excerpts in public. Performing bicoastally and on “This American Life”, NPR’s popular homespun radio show, “Mortified” is as entertaining as it is clever.
The latest show playing in Los Angeles features Johanna Stein, Melissa Wolfe, Angela Pupello, Christopher Wood, Sascha Rothchild, Krista and Keleigh Lanphear, Chris Farah, Will Seymour and Mark Phinney. Ranging from the Lanphear sisters’ ludicrously heartfelt original song about the Challenger tragedy, to Will Seymour’s casual passing reference to living next door to “Aunt” Liza Minnelli, the show presents adolescent angst and absurdity quite well. Melissa Wolfe’s vehement attack on her childhood teacher is uproarious as well. And after each show, the audience is abuzz with excitement, as each of us can relate to how wildly different children’s points of view can be.
Nadelberg assembles the show adeptly, plugging in appropriate pop songs and pacing his actors just the right amount of time. No one is on stage too long and each excerpt is long enough to give us amusing details, but short enough that we don’t get as restless as school children. He picks likeable actors, for the most part, encouraging them to let their guards down, resulting in sincere human appeal and making us laugh until we cry.
It’s a great show and a terrific idea. You have many chances to see it; both in Los Angeles and New York so don’t miss it. And don’t forget to check out their detailed website too at www.getmortified.com.
And there are books too!:
Mortified: Real Words. Real People. Real Pathetic
Mortified: Love Is a Battlefield