February 24, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Theater Review: The Imp: A laugh-out-loud romp on stage

It’s a given that due to space and budgetary limitations, Equity Waiver productions must rely on a strong, script, a professional acting ensemble, and skillful direction. Some productions miss the mark either with weak scripts, weak actors, weak direction, or all of the above. That said, Steve Stajich’s “The Imp,” presented by Bigfoot and the Fanatic Salon in Culver City, not only hits the mark, but goes well beyond any inherent limitations.

The evening is comprised of five short comedies, illuminating in a most hilarious way, the foibles of human behavior when confronted by a magic genie – who offers several wishes. The genie, played with just the right amount of satire by John Carney, has been bottled up for centuries and is released in the first playlet “Prelude: One Day in an Antique Store, ” in which a couple, wonderfully played by Paul Schackman and Dahlia Waingort, are in an antique store. The wife is browsing and inadvertently discovers the Genie who she releases.

With Stajich’s crisp, funny, sometimes sardonic dialogue at work, the laughter begins and is sustained throughout the evening. Except for one sketch entitled “Corn,” in which he plays the mad scientist, Dr. Fritz Mendalo, who has developed mega giant corn, Carney is the Genie and under Stajich’s skillful direction, developed an off-the-wall character with an unexpected edge. He smokes, swears, speaks like a New York Irishman, and grants wishes with a certain amount of flair and annoyance.

It isn’t always easy to assemble a top-notch professional cast, but Stajich managed to put together a very talented ensemble which includes Frank Noon and Matt Morgan, who play father and son in “Blammo,” the story about a father in the specialty business who develops silly products like fake vomit and dog poop while the war is raging. The son is overwrought at his father’s lack of concern – enter the Genie who grants a wish that results in a turning of the proverbial tables. Noon also plays Popkins in “Corn,” along with Kym Hoy, and Sarge in “Hellfighters in Hell,” with Matt Morgan as Taggart, a non-preachy anti-war statement, while Schackman plays “The Man” in “Good Dog” with Dahlia Waingort as Dr. Nancy who’s treating Hoy’s dying dog, Mr. Schultz.

The acting is solid throughout the five sketches with the multiple characters fully actualized. With regard to the set changes, Stajich again shows great creativity as the blackouts are covered with his playful original music that keeps the laughter going while the actors replace set pieces.

In each of the sketches, perhaps with the exception of “Hellfighters in Hell on Hell Day,” the subtitle for the evening is “be careful what you wish for” as you might get your wish, but the ancillary results might not be what you expected. In any case, you’ll laugh your way through the evening and leave the theatre with an ear-to-ear smile.

The Fanatic Salon

3815 Sawtelle Blvd.

Culver City, CA 90232

Run: Thursday October 14 – 8:00 pm

Thursday October 28 – 8:00 pm

Tickets: 310.795.7469

Contact Beverly Cohn

bev@smmirror.com

in News
Related Posts

Violent Crime Declining in Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – February, 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Violent Crime Declining in Santa Monica * Santa Monica Animal Shelter...

Santa Monica Convicted Felon Indicted for Multiple Firearms Charges After Shooting into Neighbor’s Yard

February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Jason Walsh faces federal prison time for January 9 incident By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica man previously convicted for...

Westside Hotel to Homeless Shelter Sparks Debate

February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

A proposal to convert a Westside hotel into a homeless shelter has sparked a debate. Learn more in this video...

Housing Backers Start Facing Post-Pandemic Reality

February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

By Tom Elias, Columnist The mysterious blindness that apparently affected California’s top legislative housing advocates all through 2020 seems to...

Santa Monica Awarded Over $5 Million for Affordable Housing Production

February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

The California Department of Housing and Community Development has announced two awards to the City of Santa Monica for future...

Asian Woman in Brentwood Verbally Assaulted in Racially Motivated Attack

February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

While walking near the intersection of Bundy and Montana an Asian woman was verbally assaulted by a man walking his...

Video: Catalytic Converter Theft Spikes In Westside Neighborhoods

February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

Catalytic converter theft is on the rise, what vehicles are most at risk and prevention techniques in this video brought...

Poll Reports Santa Monicans Think City is on Wrong Track

February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

Local anti-union watchdog group Eyes on 11 releases survey results By Sam Catanzaro “The decay we feel in Santa Monica...

From Donuts to Bone Broth in Santa Monica

February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

Alfalfa opens on Main Street in Santa Monica By Toi Creel A new restaurant has opened in Santa Monica, bringing...

Food Review: Highway Robbery on PCH

February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

An unmemorable breakfast burrito at Rockwell Kitchen By Kerry Slater A gourmet food truck on Pacific Coast Highway near the...

Edify TV: Westside Schools to Reopen?

February 16, 2021

February 16, 2021

Health officials have given the green light for certain Los Angeles schools to begin in-person instruction but Westside parents may...

Looking for Book Recommendations to Add to Your 2021 List?

February 16, 2021

February 16, 2021

Reading proven positive mental health benefits including stress relief, broadening empathy, fighting off dementia, and even helping those with depression,...

Video: Local Teen Looking for Baking Successor

February 16, 2021

February 16, 2021

A Westside teen who for years has been baking cakes for Upward Bound students is looking for a successor. Learn...