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Hollywood and Wino

Hollywood and Wino (Off Ramp Theatre; 45 seats; $ 15 top) Polivka Independent Prods. presents a play in two acts by Jim Polivka and Tim Neil. Directed by Adrea Gibbs. Sets, Tim Neil; costumes, Olive D. Akturs; lighting, Ben Reynolds. Opened Oct. 5, 1996; reviewed Oct. 6; runs through Nov. 10. Running time: 2 hours, 15 min. Cast: Tim Neil (Christopher), Jim Polivka (Larry) , Kristen Holt (Faye Greadly), Lauri Semarne (Alice), Brian La Rosa (Conrad Beatty), Susan Gordon (Helen Hebert). The cutthroat antics of the Hollywood movie business have been popular fodder for satire and comedy since films first began to talk. But there is nothing revelatory or even interesting in the decidedly unfunny stage play "Hollywood and Wino." Directed at a deadening pace by Adrea Gibbs, the work even fails as a showcase for the likable performances of Jim Polivka and Tim Neil, who display more craft as actors than they do as playwrights. The plot revolves around the adventures of two park-dwelling pals: Christopher (Neil), a slightly off-center ex-priest, and Larry (Polivka), a white-collar dropout with a talent for clairvoyance and a strong attraction to cheap wine. Into the lives of this carefree duo stumbles high-powered film exec Faye Greadly (Kristen Holt). Recognizing that Larry's mental gifts might be useful, Greadly whisks him off to be her assistant as she plows through the tinseltown jungle. Thrown into this plot mix are: the conniving office girl, Alice (Lauri Semarne); a nervous first-time screenwriter, Conrad Beatty (Brian La Rosa); and Helen Hebert (Susan Gordon), an overwrought penner of slasher films. After a series of achingly ponderous scenes, Larry rejoins Christopher in the park, only to be followed by a much chastened, more humane Greadly, who has been deposed by the even more ruthless Alice. Neil and Polivka have created interesting, quirky characters for themselves and exhibit an offbeat rapport that deserves a better vehicle. Holt is over-the-top as the power-hungry Greadly , but makes a nice transition in the second act to exhibit a much more believable, vulnerable persona. Semarne is quite effective as the airhead Alice, but is awkward when she rises to the status of nouveau Hollywood power-broker. La Rosa's nervous mannerisms as the screenwriter Beatty make his one slow-moving scene even more laborious. And Gordon's overstated mannerisms as Hebert are more suitable for community theater. Neil's cartoon-like set design is sparse but proves very serviceable to the onstage action. Julio Martinez

Hollywood and Wino (Off Ramp Theatre; 45 seats; $ 15 top) Polivka Independent Prods. presents a play in two acts by Jim Polivka and Tim Neil. Directed by Adrea Gibbs. Sets, Tim Neil; costumes, Olive D. Akturs; lighting, Ben Reynolds. Opened Oct. 5, 1996; reviewed Oct. 6; runs through Nov. 10. Running time: 2 hours, 15 min. Cast: Tim Neil (Christopher), Jim Polivka (Larry) , Kristen Holt (Faye Greadly), Lauri Semarne (Alice), Brian La Rosa (Conrad Beatty), Susan Gordon (Helen Hebert). The cutthroat antics of the Hollywood movie business have been popular fodder for satire and comedy since films first began to talk. But there is nothing revelatory or even interesting in the decidedly unfunny stage play “Hollywood and Wino.” Directed at a deadening pace by Adrea Gibbs, the work even fails as a showcase for the likable performances of Jim Polivka and Tim Neil, who display more craft as actors than they do as playwrights. The plot revolves around the adventures of two park-dwelling pals: Christopher (Neil), a slightly off-center ex-priest, and Larry (Polivka), a white-collar dropout with a talent for clairvoyance and a strong attraction to cheap wine. Into the lives of this carefree duo stumbles high-powered film exec Faye Greadly (Kristen Holt). Recognizing that Larry’s mental gifts might be useful, Greadly whisks him off to be her assistant as she plows through the tinseltown jungle. Thrown into this plot mix are: the conniving office girl, Alice (Lauri Semarne); a nervous first-time screenwriter, Conrad Beatty (Brian La Rosa); and Helen Hebert (Susan Gordon), an overwrought penner of slasher films. After a series of achingly ponderous scenes, Larry rejoins Christopher in the park, only to be followed by a much chastened, more humane Greadly, who has been deposed by the even more ruthless Alice. Neil and Polivka have created interesting, quirky characters for themselves and exhibit an offbeat rapport that deserves a better vehicle. Holt is over-the-top as the power-hungry Greadly , but makes a nice transition in the second act to exhibit a much more believable, vulnerable persona. Semarne is quite effective as the airhead Alice, but is awkward when she rises to the status of nouveau Hollywood power-broker. La Rosa’s nervous mannerisms as the screenwriter Beatty make his one slow-moving scene even more laborious. And Gordon’s overstated mannerisms as Hebert are more suitable for community theater. Neil’s cartoon-like set design is sparse but proves very serviceable to the onstage action. Julio Martinez

Hollywood and Wino

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