BWW Review: PIGS AND CHICKENS Leaves You Hungry For More Substance

BWW Review: PIGS AND CHICKENS Leaves You Hungry For More Substance

PIGS AND CHICKENS/by Marek Glinski/directed by Kevin Comartin/Atwater Village Theatre/thru April 15, 2018

Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA's world premiere of playwright Marek Glinski's PIGS AND CHICKENS presents a vivid send-up of exaggerated composites of co-workers Glinski at one time had to work with (as he writes in the program notes). Hard to imagine having to spend forty hours a week working with these unlikeable people, after the two hours in the theatre watching Glinski's PIGS AND CHICKENS. The cast of seven, directed by Kevin Comartin, should be applauded for their deep commitment to their totally unsympathetic, thankless characters. Only BWW Review: PIGS AND CHICKENS Leaves You Hungry For More SubstanceSharon Freedman manages to imbue her newbie hiree Wili with some modicum of likeability and sincerity. Freedman's most effective and funny scene occurs the first time Wili acts as a mock job interviewee being interviewed by the malfunctioning human resources app named Denise or Dennis (a voice-over that changes genders sporadically).

As Sam, the one employee who doesn't ignore Wili's initial arrival, Anil Margsahayam creepily hovers over Wili with no respect for her personal space. As pregnant Aditi, Poonam Basu might have the only excusable reason for being such a bee-otch - she's having multiple contractions. Lizzie Peet, as the brittle Stephanie, handles her speed-speaking monologues and neck-breaking recitations of technical jargon with aplomb. Christopher Reiling nails his obsessive, anxiety-ridden Chris, while Andy Shephard BWW Review: PIGS AND CHICKENS Leaves You Hungry For More Substanceportrays the robotic supervisor Brian with a total blank personality. As Brett, the boss of all these computer programmers, Don Cummings angrily barks out all his directives. Afterhours, Brett dons Renaissance garb and serenely sings, allowing Cummings' very pleasant vocals to reveal themselves. At other times, Shephard and Basu get to exhibit their vocal prowess when their characters, late for the staff meetings, are punished to sing.

Scenic designer Amanda Knehans smartly populates the stage with workstation set pieces, with computer screens almost horizontal and low workspace dividers for available sightlines from the audience on all three sides.

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From This Author Gil Kaan

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