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May 11, 2009

DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE. QUIRKY, COMIC DRAMA


(To the right: The Cast of 'Dead Man'. Photo Zabrina Tipton)










By Lee Hartgrave
May 11, 2009
(holding the fake gun)

DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE

HE’S DEAD YA KNOW!

This is NOT a story about Sprint Cell Phone Customer service. Even though you do get a lot of dead silence from their network. No, this is not a case of ‘dropped’ calls. This is a story of a man who is having a bowl of soup in a diner. He dies, sitting up in the chair. His Cell Phone rings over and over again. It stops and starts to ring again. Across the room is a woman who is reading a book as she finishes her bowl of Lobster Bisque. The women gets annoyed. She’s thinking – why doesn’t the guy answer his phone. Soon the woman had enough. She walks over to the man and asks him why he doesn’t answer his phone. No response – so she shakes him a bit – only to find that he is dead. A dead man can ‘t answer a cell phone. So what does the women do? She answers it for him – and takes over his life as if she were a part of it.

Now this is the kind of a customer that the Cell Phone providers just love. Finally – there is a way to have someone answer a Dead Person’s phone. Have someone else keep the account open and answer the phone for him or her. I can see the marketing now. It will be listed under “Certain restrictions will apply”. It will say: “Even if you die – you must have someone answer your cell phone for you. To not do this you will be charged an hourly fee based on how many words are spoken.” Gordon (The Cell phone owner) is dead. He is not coming back to answer his annoying phone – but don’t worry – Jean the woman who took his phone will carry on. She pretends to be his employee. She answers questions about Gordon -- not even realizing that what she says may have complications.

She is lonely, and this Cell phone has given her a new meaning to her miserable life. Someone is calling her on her new cell phone. In fact this is the only Cell phone she has ever had. The phone keeps ringing and Jean bluffs her way through the conversations. She doesn’t even know what the Dead man’s business is. And Jean won’t know until later in the play that the person that she claims she works for deals in a business that is against all international laws, not to mention that it is not ethical.

The phone moves on with Jean. Gordon’s mother calls, and Jean convinces her that she talked to Gordon just before he died, and that he thought that his mother was a wonderful person. Of course, she made that up. Gordon is dead – and he couldn’t talk to anyone. The mother is a High Falutin’ bitch who crushes little knats like Jean just for the fun of it. Especially if she finds out that Jean is making every thing up. Except for the fact that Gordon (her son) is dead. That, Jean didn’t make up.

This play is a lot more than just the cell phone. It’s about eating red meat, which is discussed at length at the Dinner that Gordon’s mom has prepared for Jean who is a vegetarian. It’s about love. Jean has a three-way with Gordon’s Cell phone and Gordon’s brother, who is alive.

This is a really and truly wacky play, with some wonderful one-liners. Everyone that is psychotic should see this play – it may bring them back to reality. It helped me.

Susi Damilano, the director has given the play a rich texture that compels. It’s no-holds-barred fun. She brought out amazing and remarkable chemistry between the characters. That takes a good director.

Jackson Davis (Dwight) is Gordon’s brother. He falls for Jean who has a fatal attraction to a Dead Man’s Cell Phone. Davis is Great! Bill English plays the Dead Guy – but he gets a reprieve in the 2nd act and talks it up. Outstanding as usual! Rachel Klyce (Hermia) plays the wife of the Dead Guy. She plays it cool, but riveting! Forentina Mocanu plays Carlotta and shines brightly! Joan Mankin (Gordon’s Mother). She’s been around – and you can’t pull anything over her eyes, no matter how disconnected things look – this tough broad gazes right through you. Mankin is absolutely brilliant in this play! Put her in Fatal attraction and she’ll scare you to death. But, please turn off the cell phone.

Amy Resnick plays the little wren Jean. She’s perfect in this role. Just ditzy enough to keep us interesting – and wacky enough to make us wonder whether we should order a strait jacket for her. Just don’t give her a steak knife at the dinner table. But, as you observe her and her creepiness, she makes you laugh hard. I’d say Resnick is a comedic genius!

THIS IS A MUST SEE! RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) –trademarked-

HOT FLASHES!

ACTRESS/ MOVIE STAR SHIRLEY JONES MAY APPEAR IN A PLAYBOY SHOOT -- ACCORDING TO REPORTS. HER HUBBY SAYS - "WHY NOT, SHE STILL LOOKS GOOD!" JONES IS 75.

Jan Wahl has been let go from Channel 4 in the City. However, she will still be heard on KCBS and will do some freelance appearances on Channel 4.

Chad Jones has been furloughed from The Sacramento Bee. He is now freelancing. It’s the economy, of course.

Two of San Francisco Theatres will go dark. Nederlander has not renewed the leases of The Post Street Theatre and The Marines Memorial Theatre. It was a good idea to bring smaller shows to town, but it never really got off the ground. Lets hope that other venues will rent the spaces from time-to-time.

The Opera has cut back on Executive salaries to help keep within their budget. Sing - Sing a Song!

AND THAT’S TODAY’S PROVOCATIVE AND THRILLING ‘HOT FLASHES’!

TWITTER LEE HARTGRAVE FOR LATE BREAKING NEWS

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