SPEC - Theatre Review
L.A. Weekly

Neal Weaver
October 15-21, 2004

Playwright Tom Grimes depicts Washington and Hollywood as twin mirrors, endlessly reflecting each other. John Wayne wannabe George W. launches pre-emptive wars and struts in combat attire, and Hollywood produces films glorifying war and warriors.

And so it is with Grimesı characters: CIA Agent Browner (Mark Sivertsen) plays his role as a chiseled, cold-eyed Clint Eastwood clone. Movie producer Ted (Tim Abell) has a narcissistic passion for body-care products.

Lawyer­cum­loan-shark Al (John LeMay) longs to make movies like Spielberg, drug-smuggling bush pilot Hicks (Rod Rowland) brandishes his sculpted physique with more flair than Rambo, and young screenwriter Mike (Joe Grigori) is everybodyıs fall guy.

An Unidentified Source has agreed to put up a $100 million for Al to shoot his film, but the movie is just a cover for delivering illegal arms to Freedom Fighters in an Unidentified Country. Everybody lies, cheats and steals, but Browner is furious when the Freedom Fighters turn the weapons he has just delivered against himself. ³I hate getting fucked by the guy Iım fucking,² he snarls. Al, suddenly caught in the middle of a war, sees only cinematic possibilities.

The clever script is full of quotable one-liners, whose comic exaggerations reflect current realities. Itıs acted with finesse by the cast, and Grimes and director Scott Campbell deserve credit for stirring up a storm of tragi-farcical mayhem with only five actors.

Alliance Theater, 3204 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Nov. 14. (800) 595-4849. Written 10/14/2004 (Neal Weaver)

**RATING: Recommended