Dirty Filthy Love Story

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Photos by John Flynn

Joshua Bitton and Jennifer Pollono in “Dirty Filthy Love Story.”

The preoccupation with possessions, regardless of worth, can become an overwhelming obsession leading to hoarding. It is a matter of degrees. One person’s trash is another’s treasure. But what constitutes enough? Of value? Of worth? The effects of such overindulgence are explored in Dirty Filthy Love Story.

We are introduced to Ashley Floerchinger (Jennifer Pollono) who fits the description of a classic hoarder. Her house brims with trash and useless things. She is a regular gal, but loneliness has defined her. She is confronted by her neighbor Benny Steets (a hysterical Rob Mersola, in a role usually played by Burl Moseley). He has his own crisis of selling his home. Apparently, Ashley has not taken the trash out for years, and its accumulation will frighten off any perspective buyers.

To solve the problem, Benny hires Halbert Shint (Joshua Bitton) to clean up the mess. Of course, Ashley takes offense, but soon, the two fall for each other. And this is when the story gets very interesting. Perhaps Ashley isn’t as innocent as she pretends to be; maybe Halbert is not as dim as he seems….

The production is excellent. Credit David Mauer and Hazel Kuang for creating a realistic, fascinating, and interactive stage. Director Elina de Santos keeps the tempo lively. The actors have much to draw from Rob Mersola’s witty script. Think of it as a sly commentary of being possessed by material things as well as a macabre retelling of Romeo and Juliet. This is an entertaining production, the laughs abound.

Recommended.

Dirty Filthy Love Story runs

through March 24 at the Skylight Theatre located at 1816 ½ N. Vermont Ave. in Los Angeles. For tickets call (855) 585-5185

or visit roguemachinetheatre.com.

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