The Vagabond Players are offering a well-directed and energetic version of Woody Allen’s Writer’s Block at the Raven in North Hollywood.
Allen’s absurdist look at modern-day marital fidelity, Writer’s Block consists of two one-act plays. Each is referenced by a place. Riverside Drive features a paranoid schizophrenic former-screenwriter – Richard Remppel’s acting does the quirky character proud — as he stalks a newly successful but insecure screenwriter — buttoned-down nicely by Ron Wells. The screenwriter begins to believe that his nemesis has been stealing not only his ideas but his life. Tasha Smith lights it up as the love interest in the piece.
Old Saybrooke is a combination of an old-fashioned sex farce and a creative look at the writer’s process. I really enjoyed this act. The plot revolves around a group of married couples who have cause to ponder the challenges of commitment and what is fantasy and what is reality. Energetic and well-paced, this act features Neita Lawrence, Frankie Aydugan, Linda Mayer, Ryan Lahetta, Tyler Tanner, Cindy Dellinger and Ken Bernfield, who mesh well as a cast. Some twist and turns add to the surprises and the script is well punctuated with clever dialog. Tyler Tanner brings a well staged presence to his accountant character Hal.
Lois Weiss and Sherry Coon offer some smart, small stage direction that hits the mark for Allen’s script.
Writer’s Block stages Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through April 9 at the Raven Playhouse located at 5233 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood (just north of Magnolia). Street parking and nearby city lots. General admission is $20; student, senior and group discounts are $15. For reservations, call (818) 206-4000, or visit www.thevagaboundplayers.com.