‘Off Book’ a World Premiere at the Secret Rose Theatre

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Review by Debbie Kagy

Falling Apples’ production of Off Book is one you definitely don’t want to miss. For one, it is hilarious. For two, you, as the audience have the unique opportunity of choosing how the play ends.  Off Book takes a look behind the scenes of a new play one hour before opening night. Little does the cast know, but their leading man is about to quit the show. At intermission the audience will decide: will the leading man be replaced by the Director, who happens to be the love interest’s sister; the Stage Manager, who is crippled by stage fright or the Playwright, a woman?

Khai Dattoli is the uber talented real life playwright, and actress playing an actress, of Off Book. It is clear that her improv background has led her in the writing direction of films such as Bridesmaids and Trainwreck and has done so splendidly. Director Paul McGee does a great job of keeping the cast moving at a fast pace so that there is never a dull moment and an endless supply of laughs.

Luis Selgas is hysterical as the flamboyantly gay actor (Tom) playing the straight man (Justin) in the play within the play. The other two standout performers are Lauren Baldwin (Ms. Emily Roberts, the playwright) and Matthew Bridges (Jeffrey, the director), who beautifully bounce each other’s opinions and frustrations back and forth like a skilled ping pong match.

With multiple endings, Off Book is one you’ll want to see again and again just to find out what else could happen!

“Off Book” runs from July 17th through August 22nd on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm. There will also be three Sunday matinees at 2pm on July 26th, August 2nd, and August 9th. These World Premiere performances will be held at the Secret Rose Theatre located at 11246 Magnolia Blvd., in North Hollywood. For tickets visit fallingapplesproductions.com.

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