Reel Good Girl Productions presents “Mouthy Bitch,” a wonderfully crafted script by Dennis Bush, peppered with adult language and sexual situations. It’s a “relationship seminar,” and the audience makes up the registrants. On the way in we’re told to “embrace the unexpected.”
In this one-woman show, Asia Lynn Pitts is a striking figure as the leader of this seminar. She looks confident, like she knows her subject, and knows exactly what she wants to say. And, it becomes exactly what the problem is with her performance. She rushes through, tripping over words, her diction often completely lost.
Pitts needs to gain control of her nerves. There were no transitions; the words tumbled out without any thought process. When the “unexpected” happens toward the end of the seminar, Pitts is supposedly left without the means to finish it. This is when she should be stumbling over words, issuing a plethora of “ums” and “uhs,” and overly long pauses. Pitts doesn’t pull it off because she’s stating, not experiencing.
Directed by Jane C. Walsh, the whole becomes a lecture. The fourth wall doesn’t exist, but Walsh hasn’t helped her actress relate to the audience with an improvisational feel; there’s no immediacy, and no believable connection. Toward the one-third point, Pitts removes her suit jacket leaving her to conduct the seminar in a bra. It’s not clear why. We never do find out and it becomes nothing more than a gratuitous display. The taste leaves you wanting to send it back to the kitchen for some honest flavoring. [** Still Hungry]
Poor Richard’s Players presents “So, I Killed a Few People…,” a tour de force one-man show written by Gary Rudoren and David Summers. This is the kind of script an actor would kill (sorry) to get his hands on. There is no fourth wall as a man confesses to a string of gruesome murders that even the squeamish can handle. The words are not graphic.
Mainly, it’s because Benjamin Loewy is the consummate performer. Each word, every phrase, carried meaning. Facial expressions telegraph hidden meanings behind the words and seem to come from his very core. He rages, he cries, he checks both as he confronts society’s fascination with the mind workings of serial killers. It’s a beautifully nuanced performance that leaves you laughing in spots, frightened in places, and empathetic at times. Loewy’s timing is such that you believe Archie Nunn, unrepentant murderer, is speaking to you from the heart as he searches for a word, or something new or different suddenly pops into his memory that he needs to express. He delivers a performance that can be summed up thusly: Stunning.
Skillfully directed by Karalyn Clark, not a single movement, or moment, is lost or misunderstood. Together with her actor, she’s dissected the script, mined it for every drop of ethos, every ounce of pathos, and delivered it all to the stage as a triumphant meal prepared by a master chef. [***** Irresistible]
“Mouthy Bitch” by Dennis Bush
Sat 6/11 @ 8:15p, Sun 6/12 @ 6:30p, Fri 6/17 @ 9:45p, Sat 6/18 @ 9:45p
“So…I Killed a Few People” by Gary Rudoren and David Summers
Sat 6/11 @ 10:00p, Sun 6/12 @ 1:30p, Thu 6/16 @ 8:30p, Sat 6/18 @ 8:15p
What: Vegas Fringe Festival
When: Thursday - Sunday, June 10 - 19, times vary
Where: LVLT, Mainstage & Fischer Black Box, 3920 Schiff Drive,
Tickets: $12 single ticket, $130 Festival Pass (702) 362-7996; www.lvlt.org)