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Theater review: 'Super Sunday' at the Moth Theatre

May 5, 2011 |  3:45 pm

Super_sunday_1 Actors hard up for audition scenes and monologues will find a bounteous source in Stephen Collins' "Super Sunday."

Jamie Wollrab's sprightly staging of Collins' comedy at the Moth Theatre is eminently watchable and amusing. However, on closer examination, it becomes evident that Collins, himself a veteran actor, has constructed what is essentially one long string of actors' moments, with scant regard for dramaturgical cohesion.

The action, set in 1988 New York, begins with an acting exercise between Sandra (Alice Fulks) and her hunky acting class partner, Paul (Wes Chatham.) When Tom, Sandra's violently jealous hubby, walks in on their touchy-feely rehearsal, he breaks Paul’s nose in short order.

Tom, who as we somewhat belatedly learn has a terrible war-related secret on his conscience, spends a good part of the first act brandishing a loaded handgun at Sandra.  It's notable that Sandra seems more concerned about eliciting an apology for Tom's hurtful use of an expletive than in his repeated threats to blow her brains all over their apartment. 

That kind of emotionally specious interaction is a persistent problem, as is the cursory plot. An allusion to the couple's infertility is quickly abandoned, while Sandra's baffling loyalty to the abrasive Tom seems contrived.  And the notion that once Tom shares his dire secret his violent proclivities will magically disappear is strikingly sophomoric.

Granted, the comically astute performances of this gifted cast, which includes Alex Desert and Jen Dede, are welcome distractions. But the actors' efforts cannot quite camouflage the play's essential messiness.

-- F. Kathleen Foley

“Super Sunday,” The Moth Theatre, 4359 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 6 p.m. Sundays. Ends May 15. $20. (323) 666-6684. www.moththeatre.com. Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes.

Photo: Ross McCall, Alice Fulks and Wes Chatham in "Super Sunday." Credit: Nathan Minatta

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