Los Angeles Theater Review: THE YEARBOOK (Magnum Opus Theatre at the Hollywood Fringe)

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by Tony Frankel on June 20, 2015

in Theater-Los Angeles


When Barnaby Hughes reviewed a previous Magnum Opus production of Surf Dogs Unite for Stage and Cinema, he wrote that the show “will leave you doubled over with laughter.” Even knowing my own writers, I somewhat doubted that clichéd statement. But last night, I saw the players take an actual awful screenplay about Monica Greene, Carrie Wiita. Photo by Brandon Clarkmisfit high school teens bent on revenge, The Yearbook, performing it word-for-word in a campy but restrained manner, and I simply do not remember the last time I laughed to the point that oxygen seemed a precious resource.

Reading the character descriptions and scene settings as though they were literature is the martini-sipping Thurston Eberhard Hillsboro-Smythe, sitting stage right, clad in smoking jacket, cravat, and oversized spectacles. Although performing in the style of a sketch, the device–which includes acting out typos–never grows wearisome because it avoids the trap of Saturday Night Live-like repetition. Here, a story is being told (an eyeball-roll inducing story but a story nonetheless). I kept thinking to myself, “This company deserves to have their own theater so they could create a repertory and bring in tourists forever.” I can’t rave enough. Well done, all.

aaron Mendelson, Carrie Wiita, Rachel Germaine, Monica Greene, Colin Willkie, Mike Lanahan, Aviva Pressman, Erin Holt, Heather Klinke. Photo by John Wuchte.

photos by Brandon Clark and John Wuchte

Brandon Clark as Thurston Eberhard Hillsboro-Smythe in Magnum Opus Theatre.The Yearbook
The Magnum Opus Players
produced by Brandon Clark
Theatre of NOTE, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Fri and Sat at 11pm through June 26, 2015
for tickets, call 323.380.0649
or visit Hollywood Fringe
for future shows,
visit Magnum Opus Players

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