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Theater review: 'Out of My Head' at Pico Playhouse

August 4, 2011 |  3:00 pm

"Out of My Head"

Some people live in their heads, some in their bodies. A lucky few live in both.

The characters in "Out of My Head," a mini-musical presented by the Mechanicals, desperately want to be in that last category. So off to group therapy they go.

The songs are by Ryan Scott Oliver, Pasadena-born, now stirring up developmental grants and workshops and getting noticed. Some of these numbers have been knocking around for a few years; Kirsten Guenther wrote the script for this expanded show.

The pop-meets-Broadway sound is a bit Jason Robert Brown-ish -- a league Oliver isn't in yet but may achieve.

It would be better to let the songs stand alone than to preface them with dialogue that is little more than a checklist of mental states -- narcissism, hypochondria, closeted sexuality and so on -- divided among five vocalists.

On Saturday of opening weekend, several of the voices, powerful though they were, veered off-pitch. On-pitch, though, were the pacing and visual panache, overseen by director Jacob Harvey and handily facilitated by Maxwell T. Robin's stylish set and mood-setting projections.

-- Daryl H. Miller

"Out of My Head," Pico Playhouse, 10508 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays. Ends Aug. 21. $21 in advance, $25 at door. www.mechanicalstheatregroup.com or (323) 524-8351. Running time: 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Photo: Robyn S. Clark, left, and Anna Bowen in "Out of My Head," presented by the Mechanicals Theatre Group. Credit: Matthew Murphy.

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