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Which End’s Up?

Opened Jan. 28, 1994; reviewed Feb. 11; runs through March 5.

Opened Jan. 28, 1994; reviewed Feb. 11; runs through March 5.

Sometimes good just isn’t better. While half of the sketches in John Moody and Doug Cox’s “Which End’s Up?” are well-crafted and humorous — in essence, good — the other half moves slowly and borders on bad taste.

Sometimes these types of revues are supposed to border on bad taste, which works if the satire is sharp, witty and most of all entertaining.

But various sketches here — from the familiar breakdown in communication between customer and order-taker at a fast-food restaurant to a look at isolation and the at-home employee — are good ideas that need more ironing out to be truly funny.

Glen Chin’s direction appears to focus on understatement but most of the subjects tackled need broader performances.

Moody and Cox’s best bets are slice-of-life-skits offering truisms that are humorous in their poignancy, such as “Two Guys in a Bar” and “In & Out”; the first involves modern-day male bonding and the other concerns the male viewpoint of a woman switching live-in boyfriends as her lifestyle changes.

Satirical commercials and paid political announcements are good running gags throughout the revue, but skits on female sanitary products advertised at a women’s golf tournament and references to very recently deceased celebrities are tedious.

The former Groundlings display their talent well in the improvisational audience participation skits that manage to amuse the performers as well as the audience.

However, in comparison with others in an area fraught with comedy/improvisational groups, this revue is only marginally funny.

Which End's Up?

(Lionstar Theater, Studio City; 60 capacity; $ 12.50 top)

Production: The Lionstar Theater presents a comedy/improv revue written and performed by John Moody and Doug Cox. Director, Glen Chin; set manager, Keith Morrison; lighting design, Kevin Monk; sound design, Fernando Flores.

Creative: Music, Dan Sachoff, Francisco Henson.

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