Favors

Journalist Corinne Wilson (Terry Davis) adores Hollywood -- without getting mired in its essence, she writes about the place. "The smog, the deals, the car phones, the Taco Pup. ... People who actually discuss the state of their colons over dinner. Who could live anywhere else?"

With:
Corinne Wilson ... Terry Davis Vivian Carson ... Kathleen Bailey Sharon Myers ... Elisa Pensler Gabrielle Chris Daley ... Steve Blackwood Waiter ... Charles Michael While there have been many sharp stories skewering Hollywood, from Nathanael West's classic "Day of the Locust" to the recent legit "Pay or Play" by Roger Kumble and "The Cause" by Frank Pugliese, none within memory has taken on the topic from a female point of view, as does "Favors," Laura O'Hare's feminist comedy that offers tight plotting, great language and sardonic humor.

Journalist Corinne Wilson (Terry Davis) adores Hollywood — without getting mired in its essence, she writes about the place. “The smog, the deals, the car phones, the Taco Pup. … People who actually discuss the state of their colons over dinner. Who could live anywhere else?”

Two power players need favors from her. Deposed film studio head Vivian Carson (Kathleen Bailey), a steely and manipulative woman now living in Santa Fe , will soon be publishing her memoirs, and she has sent a galley to Corinne for a possible story. She invites Corinne to New Mexico for the weekend, trying further to enlist her help in making a comeback.

Corinne’s ex-lover and Vivian’s successor at the studio, Chris Daley (Steve Blackwood), would like to peek at the galley to prepare himself for possible dirt. He would love nothing more than to keep Vivian a minor blip.

The rising machinations — which include Corinne’s secretary, Sharon (Elisa Pensler Gabrielle) — complicate O’Hare’s plot, all the while pointing up certain gender issues.

Davis effuses wit and warmth; Corrine comes across as a woman who loves power , but uses it well to improve the lot of people.

Bailey creates Vivian Carson as a woman an audience loves to hate. One scene in particular, worth the evening in itself, shows Vivian as the boss from hell, pounding poor Sharon into rubble.

Gabrielle and Blackwood add well to the comedy, giving their characters dimension. Director Joe Lambie sets a fast and fun pace.

Favors

(Two Roads Theatre, Studio City; 48 seats; $ 10 top)

Production: One Turk Street Prods. and the Two Roads Theater present a comedy in two acts by Laura O'Hare; director, Joe Lambie.

Creative: Set design, Richard Prantis, Victoria Van Laanen; costume design, Julia Bartholomew. Opened July 17, 1993; reviewed July 31; closes Aug. 21.

Cast: Corinne Wilson ... Terry Davis Vivian Carson ... Kathleen Bailey Sharon Myers ... Elisa Pensler Gabrielle Chris Daley ... Steve Blackwood Waiter ... Charles Michael While there have been many sharp stories skewering Hollywood, from Nathanael West's classic "Day of the Locust" to the recent legit "Pay or Play" by Roger Kumble and "The Cause" by Frank Pugliese, none within memory has taken on the topic from a female point of view, as does "Favors," Laura O'Hare's feminist comedy that offers tight plotting, great language and sardonic humor.

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