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THEATER BEAT

'Acme' Mixes Lots of Laughs With Filler

July 12, 1996|F. KATHLEEN FOLEY

"Acme After Dark," the newest evening of sketch comedy from the Acme Players, has its share of hilarious moments--but contains a bit too much filler for consistent palatability. A few pieces are more character-driven than comedic, emphasizing the eccentric over the entertaining.

The performances are strong--sometimes unequivocally, laugh-out-loud funny. In terms of both material and delivery, Audrey Rapoport stands out, spreading laughter to the rafters as a burnt-out former Mouseketeer on the skids who is now working a cheesy (no pun intended) after-hours joint back at "the park," a mouse-eat-mouse kingdom sadly altered since Walt's reign.

Michael Naughton also scores consistently, especially as a noise-sensitive moviegoer who goes progressively more berserk with each rustle or chomp from the surrounding audience. As a martial arts master whose weapons of choice are, well, fluffy, Jerry Lambert zings in laughs along with marshmallows. And Carolyn Hennesy delights as a gum-popping waitress taking tongue-twisting scripture orders from a Christian congregation.

M.D. Sweeney directs. The cast includes Kate Donahue, Robyn Donny, Erin Ehrlich, Susie Geiser, Doug Jackson, Scott Kreamer, Jeff Lewis and Antoinette Spolar.

* "Acme After Dark," Acme Comedy Theatre, 135 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. Saturdays, 8 p.m. Indefinitely. $14. (213) 525-0202. Running time: 2 hours, 20 minutes.

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