“The Singing Skeleton,” written and directed by Stefan Marks, is a remarkably fresh and original two-hour comedic escape. Extremely well-cast, each actor is superbly showcased in this play within a play.
Likable and sexually vulnerable Brandon (Barrett Shuler), as the writer/director, gains sympathy when he falls madly in love with a girl he sees at a distance, and decides with his best friend Mike (Brian Taubman) she must be an actress. He decides he’ll write a play for her, calling it “Rocket to Heaven” patterned after his mother who died when he was seven, and used to sing to him, becoming in his mind a singing skeleton. Jessica (Hannah Johnson) accepts the offer after Brandon insists no kissing (he’s jealous of her kissing anyone but him), and no four letter words because it’s “not that kind of play.”
“Rocket to Heaven” has Crack (Mark Gadbois), the boastful and arrogant father in the play, hot for daughter Jessica. In search for his dead wife in heaven, he takes off in a homemade spaceship with rocket sound effects and wobbly body language to advance the canister ship and provides a hilarious moment.
Brandon’s conservative father Bob (Keith Middleton) is a good contrast to the silliness, and has a very funny monologue when he attends his 30th high school reunion.
Most memorable is the frequent appearance of the Singing Skeleton himself, Stefan Marks, in a spooky skeleton costume, lit up in an alcove. He sounds like James Taylor and has some great guitar solos.
“The Singing Skeleton” is at The Stella Adler Theatre (6337 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA). Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm, ending June 27. Tickets are $15.00 general admission. For reservations, call (888) 201-0804. Adler offers 4 hours validation for $2 parking at the Hollywood & Highland Center.