A Tale of Two One-Acts

Leigh Kennicott Reviews - Theater

With the Fringe Festival now in full swing, the one-act form is getting a workout from one end of Hollywood to another.  Flying beneath the radar, though, I discovered one excellent one-act quite by accident. The Obit turns out to be an even-handed, engrossing debate about the passing of old forms and our obligations to treat one another with honor despite the turmoil caused in their wake.

Steve Stajich wrote and directed at the tiny Great Scott Theatre Space at The Met. His tightly-written one-act featuring a cast of six skilled actors finds Davidson (John J. Malone) convening the last editorial meeting for the soon-to-be-defunct Delmont, Ill. Chronicle-Register. He brings together a disparate group, from his girl-friend, graphics editor (Jackie Marriott), to Dennis (Dan Wiley), the openly gay section editor and the emotional heart of the piece. If you care at all about the restructuring of media going on in our society, The Obit will leave you satisfied that civility has not completely disappeared.

The Obit closed in Hollywood June 9th, with plans to open soon on the West Side. Contact the producer/writer, Steve Stajich at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Fresh Meat by Karen Bram Casady occupies the other end of the spectrum. First time playwright Casady’s playful look at the concept of a dystopian world of “eat or be eaten” cannibalism in the play smacks of the distant tales of giants and ogres harking back as far as the Greeks. Hailing from CSUN’s Masters writing program, Casady has enlisted the aid of CSUN director Eric White to bring the fantasy to life.

The Butcher (Jessie Robertson) is seen as “just doing his job,” thus becoming the allegorical center of a world gone mad. Of all the characters, my favorites are the “furries” (Sarkis Bakalyan and Erin Cholakian) with Harrison Seeley as a human taking refuge as a furry, all carrying the majority of the comedy clad in cat costumes, as we watch them overcoming the doltish humans (Nathanial Culpeppper and Taylor LeClere). While lots of fun, the play doesn’t carry the weight of The Obit. But it is a celebration of the visceral nature of live theatre that we can enjoy both!

Fresh Meat is part of Fringe, showing June 13th at 10:30 pm; 17th at 9:30 pm; and 23rd at 12:30 pm; all at the Stephanie Feury Studio Theater, 5636 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles 90038.  Discount code: EATME3x;  http://jff18org/5097.