The Pitch is a Hidden Gem at the New Madnani Theatre

Prepare to be engaged and surprised all along the way at The Pitch, a play by Tom Alper who also has the starring role.  Alper plays a sad-sack sort of a character, a widower raising a teen-aged daughter by himself.

The central action takes place in a telephone-sales office where Tom Allen (Alper) is recruited to sell what may be suspiciously sourced components to various companies.  The cast of characters seem reminiscent of Glengarry Glen Ross, an older play about the work-place.  Besides Alper as Tom, the newcomer, there is the hot-shot top salesman, “Skunk” (Orion McCabe), who jealously hoards his leads; “The Kid” (Conner Killeen), who is just sharp enough to keep the orders straight;  and “Ricky Ray” (Omar Salazar), a secret alcoholic who keeps his head down. The recruiter, “Scramby” (Phil Gibbs), serves as the intermediary between the boss, Mike (Joseph Lorenzo), and the rest of the group.

While the camaraderie occupies us, there is an ominous undercurrent that never quite surfaces until Tom finds himself under audit by the IRS.  But even here, there is something not quite right about his encounters with Mel, the IRS agent, played by William Warren.  Tom’s home life is hardly less intense, but provides a welcome contrast. His daughter, Michelle (Auden Wyle), mourns the loss of her mother, while trying to fill in at the same time. 

While this situation may sound predictable, the colorful characters and Alper’s sense of humor amid the situation at the office will leave audiences contantly surprised, and the pay-off at the end is nothing short of priceless.

Produced with a modicum of props and scenery, the renovated stage’s long stage-space and minimalist production values serve to rivet attention where it belongs: on the excellent work of the cast under the capable direction of veteran Louie Liberti.

The Pitch continues Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 3 pm through July 23rd at the Madnani Theater (formerly The Lex), 6760 Lexington Ave., Hollywood  CA 90038.  All tickets $20.  Go to; or at the door