I hope you all had a fun-filled 4th of July!

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What is it about explosive patterns of bright lights filling the sky that brings out the child in all of us? I spent the day with about 65 people, at the home of a loving and generous friend who lives a couple blocks from Burbank’s Starlight Bowl. Many were friends from the late 70’s — musicians and customers from the old “Troubadour” days in Hollywood, during its prime years. Dickie hosts this affair yearly. The live music, delectable feast, and catching up with the old gang… (many major players on the music scene back then) is always a treat! Then at 9pm sharp… cocktails in hand, in the backyard… we enjoyed the Starlight Bowl fireworks display. Such fun!

Summer Shorts Festival

From l, Kelly Goodman, Heidi Appe, and LauraLee O’Shell in “The Best Man” in The Whitefire Theatre Co.’s Summer Shorts Festival.

From l, Kelly Goodman, Heidi Appe, and LauraLee O’Shell in “The Best Man” in The Whitefire Theatre Co.’s Summer Shorts Festival.

The Whitefire Theatre Co. has just opened yet another of their HILARIOUS evenings of ten original 10-minute comedies, riotously written and performed by their company members. These evenings are always quirky, clever, and “laugh-out-loud” funny! Produced with love by Jake O’Flaherty, and directed with “fracture your funny bone” skill by Bryan Rasmussen… the insanity runs rampant and the laughs are non-stop! The sets are simple, with a clever film projected screen above the actors, setting each scene (created by David Svengalis and Bryan Rasmussen). Although all scenes were fun, I don’t have the space to comment on all of them. Let me tell you a bit about my personal “faves.”

“Mrs. Jenson” – Written by Steve Korbar. Two strangers meet at a bar and chat. She, a gutsy tough cookie, swigging down a cocktail, (Toni Perrotta) and he, a timid ex-priest, attempting to “pick her up.” (Paul Lauden) Sassy surprise ending!

“The Best Man” – Written by Lyn Woodward. It is Lisa’s wedding day, and she is a nervous wreck! Having second thought terrors… her volatile bridesmaids talk her through her panic attack. Very funny! Heidi Appe, Kelly Goodman, and LauraLee O’Shell.

“Unhealthy Appetite” — Written by Steve Korbar. Two strapping young men are on a road trip to a PETA Convention in a car. Both microbiotic health nuts, they waiver in their convictions… and face junk food temptations. Riotously acted by Chris Hampton and Keenan Russell.

“Bad Kisser” – A couple in a café argues about which of them is the best kisser. The waitress suggests a “kiss-a-thon” as the staff mass kisses each of them to decide who wins… or loses. Whacky fun! Milia Mae, Max Schlossberg, Victor Dante, Jackie Falcon, and Aaron Stall.

“The Truth Will Set You Free” – Written by Bette Smith. Rose, a therapist, conducts a session with three sassy, middle-aged women with a variety of “issues.” All of them a bit neurotic, nutty and self-concerned… the session brings out hilariously unexpected truths! Bette Smith, Mary Jo Wells, Aubrey Manning, and Linda Nile.

All ten of the “10 minute romps” were creative and kooky… but I only have so much space to use. The remainder of the large cast includes: Tony Nunes, Rose Wakesho, Mary Jo Wells, Jake O’Flaherty, Gregory James, Suzanne Mayes, Liz Bliss, Chris Pipkin, and David Svengali. Summer Shorts will run on Tuesday nights only through July 22nd at 8pm. The Whitefire Theatre is located at 13500 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks. For tickets, call (818) 990.2324 or go to whitefiretheatre.com.

Back next week with two more “opening night” productions to pique your theatrical interest. Ta Ta for now…

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