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Stage Reviews : Sacred's Lines Are Better Than Frayed Knots'

November 20, 1987|DON SHIRLEY

The Carpet Company Stage, on Pico, has become a hangout for two fledgling comedy troupes this fall.

Nothing Sacred is the funnier and more accomplished of the two groups. Directed by J. Greg De Felice, seven performers turn out sketches that go beyond the initial ideas into wacky, unexpected places. The live sketches are connected by a lively sound track; the group has the potential of rivaling Firesign Theater as well as the Groundlings.

The satire ranges over the usual political and show-biz targets but also takes aim at some relatively untouched targets. For example, Australian chic is roasted in Tim Maile's sketch about a rough customer from the Outback (Jim Ward, the group's ablest impersonator) who is kept by a couple of urban trendies as their very latest social ornament.

The Nothing Sacred cast includes a variety of physical types, and it's well balanced between men (Mike Capellupo and Tony Forkush, as well as Maile and Ward) and women (Susan Nickerson, Elizabeth O'Connell and Caroline Schlitt). All of them have their sharply hewn moments. Warren Bell is the head writer.

Frayed Knots contained only one woman--compared to four men--the other night, and the imbalance hurt. But the Knots need more than affirmative action to register in a city full of similar groups. They play the usual improvisatory games without any original wrinkles, and they work themselves into knots that are notably frayed without being notably funny. Mark DeCarlo is in charge.

The Carpet Company Stage is at 5262 W. Pico Blvd. Frayed Knots plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m., through Nov. 28. Tickets: $6. Nothing Sacred plays Sundays at 8 p.m., through Nov. 29. Tickets: $5. (818) 509-8225.

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