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14/48 the riskiest theater in town
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14/48 the riskiest theater in town

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

14/48
January 15-16, 8 and 10:30 PM
ACT Theatre


It's time again for the bi-annual world's quickest theater festival. 14/48 is the riskiest kind of theater in town. Seven scripts are written overnight based on a theme drawn from a plastic ice cream cone; actors, directors and designers and musicians rehearse all day; and then put on two shows at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Then they do it again (hence the title's 14 and 48).

It can be brilliant, it can be awful, but you gotta be there to know. The production is the ultimate roll of the dice. You can join the fun on January 15 and 16 at 8 or 10:30 p.m., or watch for the next staging in July.

At the January 9 presentation of 14/48 the theme for the evening was "The Life You Knew" and the overall grade for the performances was a solid A-.

The Guitar Case, by Maggie Lee, was a cute take-off on the "gun in a guitar case" stereotype, though the case was carried by a hitwoman who found herself befriended by a likable drifter who carried his own banjo case with everything he owned in it.

Jeff Becomes Her by Celene Ramadan was a hysterical family reunion at a funeral where one brother has become their sister. It was excellently realistic, as Lisa Viertel played the MTF with aplomb.

Eggs of Green by Scot Augustson reflects Augustson's truly unique creative mind, as two guys bond over whether they liked childhood book characters such as Babar the elephant and Curious George. Their description of the Man in the Yellow Hat as a pedophile was particularly memorable.

Sticky Monkeyflower by Elizabeth Heffron pits a pot-smoking '70s hot-tubbing family against a military-style horse camp next door. Charles Smith gave folks a quick eyeful as he adjusted his towel coming out of the tub.

Act II led off with Expecting Bobby (or Nicole) by Joy McCullough-Caranza. This was a fully fleshed-out concept of a pregnant couple who imagine whether or not they are ready to deal with all stages of childhood, like diaper-changing, or having a teen who hates them. Kudos to director Tyrone Brown and actors Morgan Rowe, Troy Fischnaller, and baby/kid/teen Jacob Sidney. The piece was as well-done as any rehearsed 10-minute play festival piece.

Deep Memory by Dawson Nichols was a funny take on past-life hypnosis, accompanied by actors who demonstrated what was seen in dream-state, until they all got sick of it and bolted the play. Particularly absurd was the "past lives" memory of being Hilary Clinton.

We're Not Talking by Paul Mullin was a sweet musing on relationships. It was not supposed to be funny, which is risky and quite rare at these events. Playwrights know people like to laugh, so it's refreshing when they try something a little more down to earth. For more information, go to www.1448fest.com or call 206-292-7676.

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