“7 Deadly Sins” Invites Seduction”

(L to R): Faith Willman, Jennifer Josy and Jimmi James in “7 Deadly Sins.”

(L to R): Faith Willman, Jennifer Josy and Jimmi James in “7 Deadly Sins.”

A darkly comic take on human foibles and immoralities, “7 Deadly Sins” strikes a nerve regarding selfishness and desire, and how they often lead us astray. Visually stylish and thought-provoking, the production features both fine acting and writing.
Organized as a series of short interwoven vignettes revealing how greed, envy, gluttony, anger, pride, lust and sloth affect everyday life, writer/director Chris Berube’s show blends skits, social messages and black humor to examine each emotion, and the sometimes funny, sometimes tragic results that ensue.
Staging is simple, with a few set pieces and contemporary clothes. Each scene is choreographed to pulsing music from contemporary action films, and is punctuated by dramatic lighting cues, creating strong visual images.
Dominating proceedings as a wisecracking, cynical devil, Berube exudes a cocky confidence with a cigar chomping élan. He draws fine performances from Shannon Fuller as a simmering hothead Mr. Roth, Faith Willman as vain, selfish Mrs. Van Eddy, and Robert Nolan as both a slimy Envy host and an overzealous glutton. Jennifer Josy and the rest of the cast also give good performances.
As the devil states at the close of proceedings, the sins define and challenge us to overcome them to form better selves. Are we ready for the struggle?

“7 Deadly Sins” plays Tuesdays through September 1 at 8pm, and Tuesdays throughout the rest of September at 9:30pm, at the Next Stage (1523 N. La Brea Studio 208, Hollywood, CA). Tickets cost $20. For more information or reservations, call (323) 850-7827.

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