WITHOUT ANNETTE – “clever comedy with emotional impact”
– Theatre Review by Sandro Monetti
Insecurites emerge, passions are inflamed, bonds are formed and trust is broken in this clever play set around an improv comedy class.
Each class member has a unique reason for being there and seeing everyone’s personalities clash at the same time as their comic instincts come together makes for a richly entertaining experience.
It gradually becomes like watching a dysfunctional family battle through setbacks and successes as ego issues, health struggles and love lives threaten to break up the unit.
Just as in the improv group they portray, it’s clear that some of the actors in the cast are rising stars who are surely going places.
Timothy Walker is outstanding as arrogant Michael, Kyle Klein mesmerising as troubled Kyle, Kersten Haile joyous to watch as Jackie while Gary Robinson as CJ has perfect comic timing.
But, just as like any good improv troupe, it’s the strength of the whole group that makes the show work and director Jeff Doucette, who co-wrote the play with Hope Juber, has clearly done a lot of good work in rehearsal to help the large cast sparkle.
The only comedy lesson it maybe misses is knowing when to leave the stage and, in the interests of less is more, cutting some running time from the overlong finale would make for an even more impactful and emotional theatre-going experience.
Written by Hope Juber & Jeff Doucette
Directed by Jeff Doucette
At Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, California 91423.
Performs Thursdays at 8pm until October 2 (dark Sep 25)
Tickets $34 from 323 960 5773 or Plays 411
Cast (not all actors appear at all performances):
Alex Ball, Mark Beltzman, Tara Ciabattoni, Bill Chott, Corinne Dekker, Jeff Doucette, Donna Du Bain, Christina Engelhardt,
Jason Frankovitz, Kersten Haile, Angie Jarre, Jeremy Klein, Kyle Klein, Julia Morizawa, Charlie Mount, Joelle Posey, Gary Robinson, Shea Scullin, Matthew Shane, Willem Van Der Vegt, Timothy Walker, Andrew Villarreal & Brice Williams.
Produced by Laurence Juber for Juber Productions & Gabrieal Griego, Green Door Productions
Incidental Music – Laurence Juber
Casting and Props – Hope Juber
Photos – Michael Lamont
Publicity – Nora Feldman
Photo of Sandro Monetti by Dawn Bowery from the book California Dreaming: Brits in LA Book
Thespian Thoughts is a theatre review article on Actors Entertainment, a channel on the Actors Podcast Network, a Pepper Jay Production.