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'Money Shot' Makes for Raw Theater at the Alex

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Monday, October 20, 2008, at 08:43AM
Tiff Ed Fuentes

Actress DANIELLE SEE makes her Los Angeles debut in "Money Shot," the inaugural production for Dead Art Form Theater. See holds a BFA in Theater from Central Connecticut State University where she was a finalist in the American College Theater Festival. _

For anyone who lived at the Alexandria Hotel in previous years, a night of harsh language and depravity was the standard. Now the same sort of material can be seen in a play that makes you laugh before you cringe.

Twenty-something male sexuality mixing with a chance for profitable internet commerce is the incendiary subject of “Money Shot,” a Daniel Keleher play that offended its opening night audience while making them laugh at the soured insights of its lost characters.

The harsh night gently opens with Tiffany (Danielle See) reflecting on a sordid evening with Bean (James Jordan), a trust fund slacker who is introduced on stage taking in a post coital video game that feeds his sarcasm and a bad eye twitch. He neglects his roommate Marty (Shawn Colten) who strands himself next to a window, offering play by play of personal demons caused by addiction. It’s with the soft heart and bulked body of college student Lance (Dante Walker) that Marty and Bean wait for George (Gregory Myhre) to arrive, and, with dark droll delivery, direct them to the next step for a video shoot that promises lots of hits.

The idea to recruit Beans new girlfriend, Tiffany, to be the main subject of the video, brings to the den of heaves a frustrated filmmaker, played by Kahlil Joesph.

You can take the rest from there, but know that a series of twists in act two make act one’s discussion of the function of sexuality through the eyes of rabid males look like mere comedy on cable, a Sex in the Gritty gone very bad.

Even as Tiffany consents, the real darkness slinks forward at the hands of a sharp ensemble who manage to keep disturbed reasoning filled with depth. Credit the writing of Daniel Keleher, who uses fast clipped dialogue of the hyper troubled, handled with impeccable timing by the ensemble who quickly form solid distinct characters and seamlessly handle staging by director Justen Huen.

As promised, or warned, “Money Shot” is not suited for those under 17. But in a Downtown that should demand challenging theater, the inaugural production of Dead Art form Theater as seen in the black box theater of the Company of Angels is a daring night out.

"Money Shot" is written by Daniel Keleher and directed by Justin Huen. It's the first production by Dead Art Form Theater and takes over the Company of Angels 3rd floor theater at The Alexandria Hotel. Money Shot opened Saturday, October 18th, and will be performed for the next six weeks on Fridays (8pm), Saturdays (8pm), and Sundays (7pm) until November 23rd.

Mature audiences only and children under 17 will not be admitted. Running time is 120 minutes with intermissionm and they warn of cigarette smoke, strong language, and nudity.

For tickets, go to Play411 or call (323) 960-7776. A downtowners discount can be applied when purchasing tickets by the student discount code, then bringing a driver's license or current mail name and a Zip Code of 90013, 90014, 90015, 90017, 90021 or 90029.

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