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Lawyers and Actors 'Dead'-On Targets

May 14, 1999|JANA J. MONJI

George Larkin's new comedy "Dead Lawyers," presented by the Sacred Fools Theater Company at the Heliotrope Theatre, is a fluffy piece that targets an easy mark, but doesn't quite hit a bull's-eye. The show includes neurotic characterizations, a few red herrings and a very impressive marlin in the set, but the best jokes are about actors.

Five people brave a thunderstorm watch and severe hurricane conditions to have a fun weekend at a Hamptons time-share. Unfortunately, a sixth person decides to sit on the couch and commit suicide. In front of the corpse is a diary detailing depression and a suicide note.

You'd think this would put a damper on things, but one man, Tuba (Scott Rabinowitz), finds love ("I finally meet a nice girl and she's dead and engaged"). A tax lawyer, Cathy (Alexandria Sage), finds excitement while wielding a knife when she discovers the suicide may actually be a murder.

The lawyer device is negligible to the plot and scripting, except for one brief riff of lawyer jokes. Under the direction of Adam Bitterman, these lawyers are just normal East Coast yuppies caught in a sitcom. The sound design by Babe Hack and the uncredited lighting design create an impressive atmosphere for the rather silly goings-on.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday May 19, 1999 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 4 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 29 words Type of Material: Correction
Wrong time--The running time for Sacred Fools Theatre Company's production of "Dead Lawyers," at the Heliotrope Theatre, is 1 hour and 20 minutes. The running time given in Friday's review was incorrect.

As the suicidal Laura seen in flashbacks, Desi Doyen is real and desirable but doesn't give the impression of dark desperation. As her dubious fiance, Graham McCann is maniacally funny.

This is a slight offering made better by top-rate technical aspects and perhaps best enjoyed in the company of lawyers with a good sense of humor, if they exist.


* "Dead Lawyers," Heliotrope Theatre, 660 N. Heliotrope Ave., Los Angeles. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Ends May 22. $10. (310) 281-8337. Running time: 2 hours, 40 minutes.

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