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Theater review: 'Greedy' at the El Centro

January 13, 2011 |  7:00 pm

Greedy-5NCPlaywright Karl Gajdusek is so prolific and so frequently produced that one wonders why “Greedy,” now being presented by Red Dog Squadron at the El Centro Theatre, is such a dramaturgical muddle.

As is typical with Red Dog productions, “Greedy” is crisply offbeat and well acted, but the best efforts of director James Roday and his talented cast fail to smooth out the rough edges of Gajdusek’s fractured story line.

Hapless have-not Louis (Brad Raider), a would-be inventor, is content with his modest means and his mannish security guard wife, Janet (Amanda Detmer, playing hilariously against type).  But when his scheming sister Keira (Maggie Lawson) convinces him to assist her in a scam involving Nazi paraphernalia, Louis is drawn inexorably into disaster.

Their intended dupe is well-meaning doctor Paul (Kurt Fuller, alternating in the role with Peter Mackenzie), who is currently plagued not only by a ruinous lawsuit but also by his Bosnian wife Tatiana’s (Ivana Milicevic) obsessive desire to have a baby -– a craving the infertile Paul cannot accommodate.

Gajdusek has a knack for dialogue, but his intentions are as arcane as the characters’ motivations.  Paul’s transition from do-gooder to wannabe killer to bizarrely generous philanthropist strains credulity, while Keira’s deadly vendetta against her previously beloved brother seems specious at best. 

In Kurt Boetcher’s bisected set design, Louis’ house is suitably moldy and cluttered, but Paul and Tatiana’s digs seem more spare than sumptuous, and John Zalewski’s obtrusive sound design, which features lots of loudly dripping water, wears on the nerves.  Sadly, so does the curiously arbitrary nature of Gajdusek’s play.

-- F. Kathleen Foley

Greedy,” El Centro Theatre, 804 N. El Centro Ave., Hollywood.  8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.  Ends Jan. 29.  $20.  www.reddogsquadron.com.  Running time, 2 hours, 10 minutes.

Photo: Ivana Milicevik and Amanda Detmer in "Greedy."  Credit:  Kurt Boetcher

Comments () | Archives (3)

What a lame theatre review! I just saw 'greedy' at the
El Centro Theatre and it is awesome! Apparently, this
reviewer doesn't understand theatre. The unexpected
shocks and twisted humor takes the audience on a Mr. Toad's
Wild Ride! I'm going back for more! Get up off the couch and go see "greedy" at the El Centro Theatre! Funny, twisted, rumbling, yes, drippy!and EXTREME! For adults only! Female flesh galore! I didn't jump out of my seat as much when I saw "Alien" for the first time!

•Ellipsis is the narrative device of omitting a portion of the sequence of events, allowing the reader to fill in the narrative gaps.

I thought it was a pretty good play. The acting, directing, set, etc, etc was all top notch. But I do think the play itself could do with a rewrite. It was muddled at times and just plain confusing at others.
Overall a solid show though.

And female flash galore? There were two scenes (once with Maggie Lawson's character and once with the Russian character) where shirts were removed. It wasn't gratuitous and it wasn't prolonged. Both very fine looking ladies, but as Tatiana says "no tits". This is not a peep show.


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