Saturday, April 18, 2009

Michael Patrick Sullivan Is My Master(mind) Now


Because last night I watched his awesome one-act, Mastermind, at the cool and cozy Black Box Theatre in Santa Monica.

And I do mean awesome. With a twisty "am-I-a-supervillain?" story and rapid-fire dialogue that plays like a strange, cool marriage between Joss Whedon and Aaron Sorkin (which would have actually been legal here not too long ago), Sullivan's play is equal parts tense and funny, with wit and creativity to spare.

Luckily, his cast is more than up to the task. J. Claude Deering plays J.D., the man who might have been arch-villain Mastermind (amnesia, you see -- nasty business) with droll charm that masks the horror and guilt he feels about his possible previous identity. Deering is ably matched by the talents of Katharine Brandt as Liz, his reporter girlfriend who has a history with Mastermind and just wants to get the hell out of Dodge. (Not the real Dodge, mind you, but, you know...)

Why does she want out? Well, because the play begins with a recorded message from Mastermind letting the people know that there may or may not be a bomb planted somewhere in the city and it may or may not go off before midnight that night. Which is in about twenty-something minutes. Something -- either in that message or the research he's been doing -- convinces J.D. that he's Mastermind. Or he was. Maybe. But if there's even a chance that he used to be Mastermind and could save people from the bomb by remembering, he feels like he has to try. Liz, isn't so keen on the possibility of exploding, but very reluctantly agrees to tell him about her run-ins with Mastermind to see if it jogs his memory.

To say any more would spoil it, but suffice it to say that Mastermind is an exciting, surprising, laugh-out-loud way to spend an hour.

Now here's the bad news: it was a one-night-only engagement. So what's the point of writing a review of something you can't even see anymore? Well, because maybe, just maybe you can. Buh-wha?

I know Michael's keen to put the show on again. If you're interested in seeing it, harass him -- you've got the link to his website above. Call Black Box in Santa Monica and say you heard about this great play and want them to run it again. Do... something. You're kind of in the same predicament as J.D. You don't know if trying is really going to help, but you damn well know that not trying isn't going to help anything.

10 comments:

m said...

So awesome that I finally get to join the "is my master now" thing.

Your review made me, well...giddy.

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