Tucked away in the nether regions between the two Valley’s lies the Black Box Theatre in the city of Montrose. Black Box Theatre is the result of the talented efforts of the La Canada Theatre organization headed up by Al Pugliese. They hold performances every third Thursday in a church in Montrose and I made last nights event. It was most enjoyable!
There were a total of 4 short one act plays in the 1 1/2 hours. They dealt with contemporary issues in a humorous sort of way. The plays were all original material written by either Benjamin Epstein or Gary Kluger. They write entirely new plays for each performance night. They weren’t always perfect, at times a little contrived or trite, but they kept me smiling throughout the performances.
The actors come out of the La Canada workshops. Some of the actors were really good at what they did and their performances were what really held the entire play together. In particular I enjoyed the performances of Lanell Scott as the crusty PE instructor in “Teachers” and Deb Snyder as “Inga” in “Mad Scientist”.
Directly from their mission statement was this little bit. “Our theatre will reflect the society of its time, and it will project the deepest longings of man, longings for order; for meaning; and for purpose in life. And, not just life as it is, but life as it should be; life as it could be; life as it once was in Gan Eden.” They succeeded and kept the preachy religious stuff out in the process.
The performances are family friendly and this would be a great way to introduce kids to neighborhood theatre (and theatre in general). The cost of admission is $12 for adults and well worth it for the chuckles and overall enjoyable evening. The December edition is planned to be Holiday Themed on 12/17.
Details: Black Box Theatre, Montrose Community Church 2416 Montrose Avenue, Montrose CA 91020 818/731-6740
(Pick by me of their actual set with the craptastic cell phone cam before performances started)