Review: ‘Late’

Late (Third Stage Theatre: 55 seats; $ 8 top) Infinity Prods. presents "Late, " a play in two acts by John Stuart Wildman, directed by Anneliza Scott. Producers are Beth Page and James Henriksen. Set design, Glen Anastasiou; lighting design, Anneliza Scott and James Henriksen. Opened May 2, reviewed May 9; runs until June 7. Running time: 90 minutes. Ensemble: Linde Gibb, James Henriksen, Gretchen Koerner, Leslie La Page, Steven Arenholz, Dawn McMillan, William Monaghan, Dennis Singletary, John Wildman, Tom Woodward. There is very little comedy and only superficial satire in this workshop-level series of 40 -plus sketches that attempt to lampoon the offerings on local latenight TV. Playwright John Stuart Wildman never gets beyond the one-joke level as he skims over such fare as Showtime's "Red Shoe Diaries," obscure sports on ESPN, infomercials on KCAL, Spanish language novelas on KMEX, political debate on KCET , slasher pics on HBO, dating shows on MTV, real cop dramas on KTTV, and on and on. As staged by Anneliza Scott, the 10-member ensemble awkwardly segues from scene to scene as cast members alternate as the channel-surfing home viewer. Further inhibited by Glen Anastasiou's flimsy set and inadequate lighting by Scott and James Henriksen, the cast members rarely offer characterizations stronger than getting the lines out before moving on to the next scene. Scott also places a misguided emphasis on the comedic value of badly simulated sex. There are a few positive exceptions in the writing and the performances. "Sponge On a Stick" features James Henriksen and Dennis Singletary as the overly informative host and expert, respectively, of the "how to" genre of programming that is a staple of public television (although rarely on latenight TV). Leslie La Page and Dawn McMillan are properly simplisticin their "Have A Degree Institute" infomercial. And a recurring gag about the lack of interest in female team sports features McMillan as a women's basketball player who is constantly switched off before she can dribble across the screen. Linda Gibb is perfect as an annoyingly enthusiastic QVC home shopping host, a gently sadistic guest on CNBC and the flamboyantly holy queen bee of a Christian variety show. William Monaghan (science teacher Dr. Gregory in the TV series, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), always manages to create a true character, whether it be a mad scientist in an HBO disaster film or an evil prince in a TBS costume drama.

Late (Third Stage Theatre: 55 seats; $ 8 top) Infinity Prods. presents “Late, ” a play in two acts by John Stuart Wildman, directed by Anneliza Scott. Producers are Beth Page and James Henriksen. Set design, Glen Anastasiou; lighting design, Anneliza Scott and James Henriksen. Opened May 2, reviewed May 9; runs until June 7. Running time: 90 minutes. Ensemble: Linde Gibb, James Henriksen, Gretchen Koerner, Leslie La Page, Steven Arenholz, Dawn McMillan, William Monaghan, Dennis Singletary, John Wildman, Tom Woodward. There is very little comedy and only superficial satire in this workshop-level series of 40 -plus sketches that attempt to lampoon the offerings on local latenight TV. Playwright John Stuart Wildman never gets beyond the one-joke level as he skims over such fare as Showtime’s “Red Shoe Diaries,” obscure sports on ESPN, infomercials on KCAL, Spanish language novelas on KMEX, political debate on KCET , slasher pics on HBO, dating shows on MTV, real cop dramas on KTTV, and on and on. As staged by Anneliza Scott, the 10-member ensemble awkwardly segues from scene to scene as cast members alternate as the channel-surfing home viewer. Further inhibited by Glen Anastasiou’s flimsy set and inadequate lighting by Scott and James Henriksen, the cast members rarely offer characterizations stronger than getting the lines out before moving on to the next scene. Scott also places a misguided emphasis on the comedic value of badly simulated sex. There are a few positive exceptions in the writing and the performances. “Sponge On a Stick” features James Henriksen and Dennis Singletary as the overly informative host and expert, respectively, of the “how to” genre of programming that is a staple of public television (although rarely on latenight TV). Leslie La Page and Dawn McMillan are properly simplisticin their “Have A Degree Institute” infomercial. And a recurring gag about the lack of interest in female team sports features McMillan as a women’s basketball player who is constantly switched off before she can dribble across the screen. Linda Gibb is perfect as an annoyingly enthusiastic QVC home shopping host, a gently sadistic guest on CNBC and the flamboyantly holy queen bee of a Christian variety show. William Monaghan (science teacher Dr. Gregory in the TV series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), always manages to create a true character, whether it be a mad scientist in an HBO disaster film or an evil prince in a TBS costume drama.

Late

Third Stage Theatre: 55 seats; $8 top

Production

Infinity Prods. presents "Late," a play in two acts by John Stuart Wildman, directed by Anneliza Scott. Producers are Beth Page and James Henriksen. Set design, Glen Anastasiou

Creative

Lighting design, Anneliza Scott and James Henriksen. Opened May 2, reviewed May 9; runs until June 7. Running time: 90 minutes.

Cast

Ensemble: Linde Gibb, James Henriksen, Gretchen Koerner, Leslie La Page, Steven Arenholz, Dawn McMillan, William Monaghan, Dennis Singletary, John Wildman, Tom Woodward.
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