Screenplay

  • Date:
    January 1, 2011

    Review by Tulis McCall
    (17 Jan 2010)

    Bet you can’t guess what this play is about. You can? Well then you can probably plot the entire story with your eyes closed. There is not a lot new here.

    Actually, as most theatre people know – there is not a lot new anywhere. The main plot structures have been laid out: human against nature, human against self, human against humans; love lost; love won. That pretty much covers it. So what is left for the writer? The telling!

    And in this department there was also nothing new or intriguing. This is the story of a trio of college chums: Suzie (Heather Dilly) Dean (Jonathan Sale) and Graham (Scott Brooks). Dean is the immature jock, Graham is the class nerd and Suzie is the spunky gal that both boys want. Flash forward a few years and the nerd has turned into a wealthy entrepreneur, the jock living in L. A. with his girlfriend Lisa (Diana DeLaCruz) and writing scripts with no hope in sight, and Suzie is also in L.A. as travel consultant.

    Suddenly Graham switches continents and ends up in L.A. where he is eager to become a movie producer. Suzie gets wind of this and encourages Dean to attend a welcome party and pitch his script to their old friend. He does. Graham bites and offers to buy the script. The catch is that Dean is off the project and Graham is listed as writer.

    This would be a fairly interesting hook if the script followed its own lead and let the two men duke it out in a variety of venues and forms. But the tale wanders through a sea of tepid writing and a few moments of incredulity (Dean forfeits his entire computer along with the script) until Dean finally admits defeat and retreats to his writing den. If he can write one great script he can certainly come up with another.

    The most exciting writing occurs between the two men who manage to take each other on as equals most of the time. The women fare less well, coming off as monotone cheerleaders with not a lot to do, which may account for Ms. Dilly’s excessive mugging. It is difficult to figure out what to do when your lines, and the director, don’t help you. In addition the cast is inhibited with what is one of the most awkward and ill designed sets I have ever seen. A large screen separates up from downstage with a seam directly in the center for the “doors” that covers much of the action in the first scene. The doors are never fully opened and the actors are forced to slide in and out of side openings for their entrances and exits; difficult under the best of circumstances.

    There are few sparks here but, sadly, no fire.

    (Tulis McCall)