January 22, 2013


Tallman (Joshua Roberts) - Lilly (Lyndsy Kail).  Photo -Chesca Rueda

MANIC PIXIE dream girl

There is something that makes me think of Woody Allen. There is the kinky factor. Hey, I’m also kinky—so I fit right into this play. Not actually in it – but on the sidelines watching. There is also the creepy feeling that Rod Serling was floating around the room (see Serling’s (A World of His Own) for the plot idea. Not exactly the same, but similar.

There is a real love story here. A young Artist meets a girl who just kinda finds her way into his apartment. You know right away, that this is not completely normal. Yes, there is something very strange about her. Her moods run from sweet to neurotic. She is mostly emotionless – but then all of a sudden she snaps – and goes a little bit nuts. While actually – she is more than a little nuts.

The young Artist can’t quite understand what is going on. But, he will find out later that there is more to the quirky girl than he expected. His paintings are not doing well, and he is totally broke. His landlord is about to kick him out of the Apartment. The energy on the stage really sends lighting bolts across the room. How can you not get involved in this whole love story, when they are both more or less half wits? The Artist is not painting – the Girl has a secret that you find out near the end, and the Artist is overwhelmed with the secret.

THE ACTING IS SUPREME! Lucas Hatton plays three men: Rick/Bartender/Phil - and this guy really has a talent to look like someone hit him on the head with a magic wand. It’s amazing! Joshua Roberts (Tallman) is the Artist that is in a funk – he can’t seem to get back on the creative track. Others on the fast track are Lyndsy Kail (with the wandering mind). And to heat things up there is Liz Anderson (Jackie) to keep the strain going. Everyone is on a High Wire Act – and it may come crashing down at anytime. Porter Price (Michael Barrett Austin) tries to help the Artist along in an irritating way.

*Manic Pixie Dream Girl was commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround – James A. Kleinmann, Artistic Director.

Now Playing at ‘The A.C.T. Costume Shop Theater. 1117 Market St., San Francisco. (Across the street from the Orpheum)

Rating: Three Glasses of Champagne!!! –trademarked-

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook Section, and he produced and hosted a long-running Art Segment on PBS KQED)))

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