Somebody/Nobody at Mixed Blood Theatre

Elizabeth Grullon and Taj Ruler (in T-shirt) in Mixed Blood's SOMEBODY/NOBODY - Photo by Ann Marsden

Deranged starlet Sheena Keener flees the Surf Awards (“All those eyes”), stumbles out of her limo, rolls down a bebrambled freeway embankment and now with a photogenic scrape on her pampered forehead pounds on the wobbly door of Loli’s cinderblock L.A. apartment. Loli has just been laid off and is down to her last $37. Still, a bizarre alliance is formed (“You can have my used lipstick.” “Thank you, thank you!”). Which lasts until Loli’s cracker cousin, Joe Don, arrives from Kansas and things get, well, tricky. And then Galaxy (“Because I’m bigger than a star”), Sheena’s 19 year old agent shows up, drinks 4 Budweisers in as many minutes, and turns out to be…

Enough said about the plot. If you require story logic and credible character development then Jane Martin‘s wild Somebody/Nobody (Mixed Blood, 1501 S. 4th St, through March 14, may not be the play for you. But if you like clutch-popping comic frenzy, rapid-fire zingers, and actors having more fun than actors should be allowed to have, then by all means get yourself to Mixed Blood. Somebody/Nobody serves all this up in a manic and intermissionless hour and forty-five minutes. And the play is actually about something: celebrity worship, and… Well, that’s all. Still, there’s enough genuine intelligence at work here to keep even the grumpiest theater-goer content.

Elizabeth Grullon is impossibly leggy and winsome and she plays Sheena with relentless effervescence. Her screechy ego keeps the energy level at 10. Brandon Morris gives Joe Don lumbering charisma – and surprising intelligence. And I adored Taj Ruler‘s Loli. Her ability to switch from good-natured hero-worship to incandescent anger serves the play brilliantly. Rose Le Tran has a small but nice turn as Beverly, the auto repair specialist who invites Loli back – with fireworks. And Mo Perry, as always, amazes as Galaxy (somewhere some playwright is cooking up the perfect role for Perry; I hope the play finds her soon).

Director Jack Reuler has had the good sense to engage a first rate cast and keep the proceedings moving.

So if you’re in the mood (and a few glasses of good wine might be helpful here) check this one out.


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