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Theater Beat

Silliness in a Trite, Slow 'Stamped'

May 19, 2000|JANA J. MONJI

Going postal is what Gary A. Bisig's "Stamped" at the Met Theatre is about, but this "comedy-drama" is a slow-moving sitcom stretched into two hours.

Two postal workers have witnessed two separate postal incidents that ended in fatalities. As a result, they must attend counseling in a storage area of a local high school. Monk (M. Darnell Suttles) has a no-nonsense, don't-mess-with-me attitude that is rattled by the folksy slowness of the slightly inebriated Bill (James Gammon).

When Dr. Mary Canari (Margaret Blye) arrives--in an inappropriately flirty skirt and high heels--the pace quickens. But the believability factor sinks faster and deeper than the Titanic.

A gun, game-playing, double deceptions, whining, wacked-out face-offs that make you wonder how the good doctor keeps her license, and a tidy, feel-good ending fill out the second act. It's all mind-numbingly trite.

Under Paul Koslo's direction, Suttles and Gammon create dimensional characterizations. But the scenes move at a snail-mail pace. Blye's character is merely a tool for the silly contrivances of Bisig's script.

*

* "Stamped," Met Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Hollywood. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Ends June 25. $15. (323) 957-1152. Running time: 2 hours, 10 minutes.

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