It’s what I expect each and every time I attend a production at the Write Act: Connections, produced by Diane Chernansky and Susan Eiden, is a part of the Women Inventing Theatre series, above the bar, totally original material (like HBO). Each sketch involves incredibly diverse, creative actors. It leads one to wonder how a relatively small theatre gets such caliber of talent. Their standards are so high, as evidenced by the quality of work.
“Between the Lines” features Professor Schubert (Tom Killam), esteemed in his field yet lost in his own “small world.” When a young, idealistic student (Natalie Camunas) learns that he draws his inspiration from Disneyland amusement rides, she has a rude awakening to the bitter taste of the real world after all.
“Baby Blues” is almost like Albee’s Zoo Story, set on a park bench, where a talkative proud mama boasts about her young toddler; all the while the emotional pregnant woman beside her carries a stillborn. The irony and tragedy is heart wrenching.
“Can You Hear Me Now“ is a vignette on love in the era of texting. It ponders the modern day dilemma of face to face vs. technological. Love in 3D seems to overpower the one dimensional blasé of online interaction.
“The Broken Ones” features a clown/Marilyn impersonator (Ramona Young), awaiting “Mr. Right,” the man of her dreams. Yet the man who literally rolls along in a wheelchair is looking for some semblance of love as well; the two form a bond and realize that their uniting is better than fantasy indeed.
“Benny and Pearl Loving in a Gold Fish Bowl“ begins with my favorite tune, “In My Life,” and portrays a reunion of two old souls who never connected romantically. They dance, kiss, and rekindle sparks — all through the eyes of a fishbowl. Life’s truly a fishbowl: We’re all swimming around trying to hook the right catch.
“Taken for a Ride” features a cat, in anthropomorphic form (Anthony Rutowicz). He is so like a human when “dumped” from a relationship with Susan (Chris Lee): tossed out, abandoned, left to fend for himself.
“In My Dress,” my favorite one-act, I was reminded of Cinderella, trying on the infamous glass slipper. It seems when each character (Amy Alleson, Anna Douglas, and Jessica Gardner) don this magical piece of clothing, the basic little black dress, something uncanny occurs.
The one-acts are bound together by a similar theme: disconnected souls wandering in and out of love, whose lives are turned and twisted by the fickle hand of fate — a perfect Valentine’s entertainment treat.
Connections runs through Feb. 21 on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. The Write Act Repertory Theatre is located at 6128 Yucca St. in Hollywood. For more information, visit www.writeactrep.org or call (323) 469-3113.