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Sounds from a Converted Garage
a kate west review

written by Michael Loprete, directed by Phil LaMarr, at the Groundlings Theatre, 7307 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046 - Running April 14 - 29; contact (323) 934-4747

 

Michael Loprete, musician and former Groundling, has created a piece of theater we can all relate to, now playing at his alma mater, the Groundlings Theatre. 'Sounds from a Converted Garage' is a play about musicians relating their trouble with relationships, each member representing a different phase of dating. With clever dialogue and a likeable cast, Loprete and Director Phil LaMarr (of Mad TV fame) convey something we can all understand - dating sucks.

Accompanied by Damon Jones strumming guitar to set the mood, each band member tries to pursue a relationship, with varying results. Loprete plays John, whose girlfriend Caroline (in this performance, understudied by spunky Paige King), wants to have a baby. Avoiding this commitment is making him (and everyone else having to put up with him) quite crazy. Stirling Greg Gardner plays Dan who is as selfish as they come and cannot understand why women won't stay with him. Kevin, (in this performance, understudied by the engaging Michael Naughton), sadly pursues the wrong women. None of them are happy until the end of the piece, when the bad parts of the relationships are over and each character is able to move on with the rest of his life.

A simple truthful tale told with gentle mockery and guitar, the play runs about an hour and a half and is nicely entertaining as well as providing a good haven from the endless rain. It showcases the insane way people behave in relationships and how that dynamic brings out our worst and best selves. Although it does not really teach us anything new, it is always fun to be able to laugh at ourselves, and of course, the cast and production staff are consummate professionals.

Regular cast members also include Matt Winston, Cameron Meyer, Cheselka Leigh, Nicole Ghastin, Jessalyn Gilsig, Loretta Fox and Timothy Brennen.


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