Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Theater Review : Monologues Highlight HBO New Writers Project Festival

October 19, 1994|DON SHIRLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Will Scheffer writes terrific monologues, judging from Program B of the HBO New Writers Project Festival, at the Stella Adler Theatre.

*

Three of Scheffer's monologues, performed by different actors, make up the second half of the program. They're funny, lyrical, captivating. Each is about a gay character, and the first two characters are marginally connected by the same psychiatrist and by a key image of a fiery dance. Yet the characters are distinctive enough to ward off any sense of sameness.

In "Alien Boy," Daniel Parker plays a plump and precocious 13-year-old son of a Holocaust survivor. He's just beginning to realize he's gay, back in the "Boys in the Band" era. It entices and frightens him, and it interests him a lot more than the Judaism he rejects. The script's only dubious device is to dress this kid in a cutesy sailor suit.

Gerry McIntyre appears in "Fire Dance," which is about a black drag queen who leaves the profession after his mentor is in an accident. It's a stylish piece. But Scheffer's best work is his last, "The Falling Man," about a ballroom dancer (Michael Malone Starr) who loses his virginity on the same night he's declared cha-cha champion of the world. He also contracts AIDS soon thereafter, but he tries to discover as much excitement in his new "falling" state as he found in his sure-footed dancing days. Beth Milles directed Scheffer's work.

*

Most of the first part of Program B is devoted to "The Answer to My Prayer," by Nancy De Los Santos. It's a mildly amusing account of a single Latina's search for Mr. Right, abetted by a prayer from her late grandmother and the ministrations of some elderly cousins. Ada Maris is a sympathetic presence as the woman beset by cartoonish creeps, but the script seldom strays from the predictable. Tony Plana directed.

Dwight Okita's brief anecdotal monologue, "The Spirit Guide," performed by Steve Park, opens the program rather inobtrusively with a tale of a man's encounter with a friend who claims to have a pipeline to God. Cathleen Fitzpatrick directed.

* HBO New Writers Project Festival, Program B, Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Blvd., Today - Friday, 8 p.m. Running time: 2 hours, 10 minutes. Programs C and D continue through Oct. 30. Each program, $11. (213) 466-1767.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|