FACT OR FICTION: The AOJ Story
I’m becoming the top dog now!
Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true some don’t; but keep on dreamin’ – this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin.’
The closing line said by a homeless man in “Pretty Woman”
Writer James Kenneth concocted a show that is a hybrid of a good story mixed with hysterical improv and audience involvement and appreciation. This is the birth of a new theatrical company aptly named 3…2..1. ON FIRE. Based on a true story, the protagonist Scott searches for a better life that includes fame and wealth. The American dream hasn’t died; it received an overdue makeover for today’s society. Scott (played wonderfully by Josh Margulies) has many issues. He’s hungry for fame and the occasionally lunch and dinner, he’s bisexual with a very high sex drive. He also takes on the persona of Melissa Jones a freaky woman with even more unbearable issues.
Still he moves forward with the play written by Richard Greenberg, “Take Me Out,” about a bi-racial baseball player who decides to come out to his teammates and the world at the height of his career. Scott hopes that it would give him the success he desperately wants. He needs to be taken seriously in this town filled with haters. This is where many of his problems begin.
First, he modifies the script at the last minute and gossips as fast as social media can spew it out. This leads to distrust and anger among the people he works with. He is highly in debt and declares bankruptcy. He is unable to pay his actors and about 98% of the crew quits. It also doesn’t help that Scott’s wickedness shines through and stirs trouble among cast members. He’s looking for a fresh start. Then again, who isn’t? Ryan (the comic genius that is Jovan Thomas) does a great job in his monologue about baseball being a democracy. It was a fun tearjerker. Not to be outdone by the wit of Thomas is Kathryn (the brilliant Selena O’Sullivan) giving her heart and soul describing in painstakingly detail how the death of her son greatly affected her.
The improv begins with the traditional asking the audience for suggestions to start a scene. The question of the moment was suggestions on any type of quirk someone might have. The answer? Reaching an orgasm every ten seconds. Actor James Maple as Jesse did an excellent job portraying a man asking for directions while becoming highly excited. It’s funny to imagine this handsome looking man getting off at the most awkward moments so soon. For a break in the ongoing entertainment, Mystiq Marlo lies on a small bed of nails. He walks over to a couple of audience members who concur that the nails are razor-sharp. He adjusts his black backless shirt before lying down and rises with deep red indentations. For a little sexiness thrown in, the sexified Max Darling struts on the stage carefully peeling away a yellow coat with a tiger-printed leotard peeking out. Underneath it all, he reveals black stockings, 3-inch black heels and garter while performing a seductive dance that would make Bob Fosse smile. So damn, sexy!!
An exciting night filled with mystery, intrigue, a little sex, exaggerated truth and believable lies. 3…2..1. ON FIRE! smolders into a raging inferno.
Fact or Fiction: The AOJ Story plays Sundays, June 21st at 8:30 p.m. and June 28th at 9:30 p.m. and Thursday, June 25th at 10 p.m. Elephant Space at Theatre Asylum at 6322 Santa Monica, Blvd., in Los Angeles. For reservation, log on to www.321.onfirela.com or e-mail email@example.com