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THEATER REVIEW : Groundlings' Second Team Takes the Stage

September 20, 1993|DON SHIRLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Sunday "farm team" at the Groundlings is often as funny and as polished as the Friday/Saturday first-string. The current cast of "Sideshow Sunday" is no exception.

Big, goofy Chad Einbinder was the strongest creative force at a recent performance (the program is subject to change). He wrote and performed deft portraits of a daddy at a Mommy & Me meeting, a remarkably well-trained husband, a waiter at the Garlic Patch restaurant and a Marine recruiter who's trying to circumvent the new "don't-ask" policy.

Steve Bean and Steve Burrows burst into unexpected action as a team of bright-eyed bozos. Later, Burrows stars as a tyrannical acting coach in a sketch that should provoke unrestrained laughter from L.A.'s legions of actors. He also teams with Cheri Oteri in a witty take on Greek myth, film noir-style, and with Ken Hoffman in an exuberant sex role reversal sketch at a nightclub.

Oteri propels a sharp-eyed look at two couples in a theater queue and later stars as a food addict on a difficult date.

Director Karen Maruyama keeps even the lesser rehearsed sketches tight and spiffy, but the improvs at the reviewed performance fell flat.

*"Sideshow Sunday," Groundling Theatre, 7307 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles , (213) 934-9700. Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Runs indefinitely. $11. Running time: 1 hour, 55 minutes.

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