The highlight of "Outcasts," a trio of short shows at the Boyd Street Theatre, is "The Magician" by John O'Keefe.
Dressed in a snazzy tux, the title character takes out a pack of unorthodox playing cards, each bearing an image that reminds him of another detail of what he imagines to be his wife's infidelity. It's a witty and lyrical excursion into this poor chump's mind, blessed with an impeccable performance by Matthew Goulish, directed by Lin Hixson.
Goulish wrote and directed the first piece, "December," the latest in a long line of one-acts about desolate encounters between two strangers in train or subway stations. Alex Wright's lighting creates more chills than the script, which is all too predictable.
"South of the Clouds," which ends the evening, is a collection of monologues written and performed by homeless people from Skid Row, under the direction of John Malpede of LAPD (Los Angeles Poverty Department).