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Theater review: 'Crack Whore Galore' and 'Violators Will Be Violated' at Atwater Village Theatre

February 23, 2011 | 10:00 am

Crack Whore Galore Why are drug-addled British rock stars so endearing — at least as fictional characters? First the guys in Spinal Tap and now Danny and Abbey Galore in Ensemble Studio Theatre-L.A.’s late-night performance piece "Crack Whore Galore" at Atwater Village Theatre — win our hearts by violating our standards of decency. They have us at "... off."

In a space set up like a coffeehouse, a singer-songwriter (Kristy Hanson, a class act and a good sport) performs — only to be interrupted by the Galores, punk throwbacks in skintight leather pants (Danny, played by Graham Sibley) and fishnets (Abbey, played by Tonya Cornelisse), pushing a shopping cart full of props. They comment insultingly on Hanson’s songs in thick Cockney accents as they set up, forcing her to cede the stage.

“We’re the Galores! We used to be crack whores,” they bellow, Danny on guitar and Abbey on drums. Between this and their other lewd numbers (“Bangers and Mash”) they explain that they met in rehab, got clean, got married and moved to Hollywood to be rock stars. As such, they’re proudly marketing their sex tape. They planned to sell copies after the set, but Danny forgot to pick them up from Kinko’s.

Cornelisse’s sharp tongue and husky voice, Sibley’s dim sweetness and not-quite-there smile, and their uninhibited passion (they leave the stage mid-show to have sex) make the Galores adorable heirs to the “rockumentary” tradition. A Web series about them, “We Are the Galores,” has been produced, and there undoubtedly will be cachet to having seen them live before they went viral.

The new Atwater Village Theatre, a charmingly transformed warehouse, is also home to Circle X Theatre Co., whose contribution to its late-night programming is a revival of a previous production, “Violators Will Be Violated.”

Violators_Casey Smith2-NC-1The one-man show, created and performed by Casey Smith, seems to have been inspired by the recognition that many people find mimes embarrassing. So why not skip standards like “trapped in a box” and cut straight to gleeful violence and fart gags? Smith, who has said he has no training in mime, has made up his own form of the art, punctuating his goofy antics with the occasional word and many shrill screams.

With too-short pants, a checked shirt and a deranged leer, Smith cavorts through 18 brief scenarios. He’s an uncoordinated but enthusiastic kung fu fighter, a mugging girl stripper, a bulimic ballerina, a man drowning in his own feces. His humor bypasses the cerebral cortex completely, homing in on the reptilian brain. But the audience’s helpless laughter suggests that all of us could stand to let our inner lizards out to play.

-- Margaret Gray

“Crack Whore Galore,” Ensemble Studio Theatre-L.A. at Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village. 10:30 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays. Ends March 12. $15. (323) 644-1929 or www.ensemblestudiotheatrela.org. Running time: 45 minutes.

“Violators Will Be Violated,” Circle
X Theatre Co. at Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village. 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Ends March 26. $15. www.circlextheatre.org or www.violatorswillbeviolated.com. Running time: 55 minutes. (The shows are performed on separate stages, not viewable as a double bill.)

Photos: (Top) Tonya Cornelisse and Graham Sibley as Abbey and Danny Galore, would-be rock stars in “Crack Whore Galore.” Credit: Danny Roew. (Bottom) Casey Smith in “Violators Will Be Violated.” Credit: Dustin Hughes.

 

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