The Actors Showcase
a kate west review
(above: Tim Bagley as The Captain)
created and directed by Tony Sepulveda
produced by Allison Kingsley
at the Groundlings Theatre
7307 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
contact (323) 934-4747 or www.groundlings.com
EXTENDED - running Monday evenings, April - July 2008
"The Actors Showcase" is a hilarious spoof on the common tedious practice of showcasing long-suffering actors to long-suffering potential agents and other industry helpers in "the biz". Directed by industry veteran Tony Sepulveda, the talented cast (current and former Groundling company members) joyfully give their worst performances from such favorite student theatrical scenes as Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" and Paul Rudnick's "Jeffrey". Beverly Winwood (the endearing Cathy Shambley) is the "host" of the evening, addressing us (the "industry") as the darling rescuers who can make all her students dreams come true. Judging from the wacky headshot and resume packets handed out before the show (Thad Ripple, Danger, Taylor Elizabeth, Pu-Ping Chow, to name a few), there is no help for the absurd crew.
Bad acting, bad blocking (stage movement), line flubbing, terrible dancing and singing have never looked so good. Tim Bagley reprises his role as The Captain (as seen on late night television), monologuing and maneuvering himself into trouble in a wheelchair. Lynne Marie Stewart, complete with Latina sauciness, wrestles with an evil dummy in "The Bad Seed" and Melissa McCarthy ("The Gilmore Girls") and Rachael Harris ("Notes from the Underbelly") do a ridiculous start-and-stop "original" piece, heavy on the slapstick. There is even an overdone death scene from "Million Dollar Baby", a surprisingly dramatic scene from "The Facts of Life" and a show-stopping final number from a popular Broadway show. To say any more would be criminal (but just so you know, there might even be a surprise visit from a well-dressed "Project Runway" host). Trust that you will definitely get your money's worth from this constantly sold out show.
While some sensitive souls might feel offended that professionals are poking fun at the lesser talent, at heart "Showcase" is an acknowledgement of the absurdity that is Hollywood and the hoops everyone jumps through. In other words, we're all in this together. And who among us hasn't had that I-can-do-it-better moment anyway? Because this troop is comprised of some of the best comedians in Los Angeles, it is an entertaining evening indeed. Plus you'll get to see actors from all of your favorite t.v. shows reveling in their roots (go to www.IMDB.com to look up all the famous names below).
(subject to change)
Antoinette Spolar Levine
Mary Jo Smith
Lynne Marie Stewart
In past productions, previously popular cast members also included Jennifer Coolidge ("Legally Blonde", "American Pie") and Paul Reubens (Pee-wee Herman).