Thursday , February 22 2024

Hollywood Fringe: Capsule Theater Reviews

NOTE: These are short reviews of shows that will still be available to watch this coming weekend, either in person or virtually.

Japanese Love Story – Shizuka – 静御前

Writer/director Tomoko Karina transforms the small stage at the Broadwater Theater into 12th-century Japan to tell this engaging story of love, set against the backdrop of war. Jonathan Huynh-Mast and Tomoko Karina star as the love interests, supported by a diverse cast, including Yukari Black, Amery Thao, Alexander Collins Justin Tuthill, Jerome St. Jerome, Tony Kim and Jon Vasquez. The performances are all terrific, particularly the star-crossed lovers.

Relying on simple staging but emphasizing the gorgeous costuming, music and effects, Japanese Love Story – Shizuka relates the true tale of Shizuka, one of the most popular entertainers in Kyoto, who meets and falls in love with the war hero, Yoshitsune of Minamoto, with tragic consequences.

This is a unique opportunity to see a piece presented in traditional Japanese theatrical style, but with English dialogue. It plays Friday, Aug. 27 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 29 at 3:00 p.m. at the Broadwater Theater (Second Stage), 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. Both performances are in-person only. Tickets can be obtained here.

Deathless and Taxless: A Corporate Exorcism

Benjamin Ross Nicholson’s interactive online show is an amusing send-up of the evils of corporate America. In the first half, we are delivered an exhaustive PowerPoint presentation that lays out the proof of how sinister corporations are, as represented by the mysterious “Man in Business Suit Levitating” (or Heisenberg). The goal is to kill off the ridiculous notion that “corporations are people” – once and for all.

The corporate demon in Deathless and Taxless: A Corporate Exorcism.

In the second half, the audience is taken into a Zoom chatroom where we are confronted by the demon – and an exorcism is performed. Viewers are invited to ask the beast questions, but be careful! His goal is to take you down the path of death by corporation.

This production is streamed, and tickets are available here. The final performance is Saturday, Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

The Sleepover

Mikey the Geek.

Cricklewood Theatre Company’s immersive experience transports us back to our childhood, when sleepover parties were exciting events for middle-school kids. Writer and director Janson Lalich is the nerdy Mikey, who is determined to make this the “best sleepover ever!”, while older sister Louise (Susan Louise O’Connor) has been forced by their parents to babysit the party – and she’s way too cool for this business.

This is a seriously ‘90s show. Over the course of the evening, we surf AOL (bing bing bing), burn CDs, and read Goosebumps. The audience is an active participant throughout. And if you filled out the questionnaire that was emailed to you beforehand, your personal details become part of the show. Hilarious!

Remaining performances are Friday, Aug. 27 And Saturday, Aug. 28 at 8:00 p.m. Both performances are online only, and tickets are available here. Get your geeky kid on!

Lockdown Love Story

This U.K. comedy, created by Alice Fforde and Charlie Dryden, shows us what we’ve been reduced to, thanks to this rotten pandemic. This multi-part series takes us through the “new normal” of online dating.

The emphasis here is on awkward. When you’re on an online date, you may reveal a little too much of yourself. Pick-up lines can fall flat, as do would-be strip shows. And you belch! Even if you meet the right person, what are you gonna do? Go out for a cuppa?

This online presentation is the perfect vehicle for these hilarious vignettes. Two performances remain: Thursday, Aug. 26 at 3:00 p.m. and Friday, Aug. 27 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are available here.

About Kurt Gardner

Writer, critic and inbound marketing expert whose passion for odd culture knows no bounds.

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