LA Weekly Reviews: Out There On the Fried Ridge Meat Road

In a small West Virginia town, Mitchell (Neil McGowan) has just lost his job at the local spork factory, not to mention his car, his girlfriend and his apartment. He finds a newspaper ad for an affordable, extended-stay hotel room with a beer-bellied hillbilly with a heart of gold named JD (Keith Stevenson, who also wrote the play) … The ensemble of hotel neighbors — which includes gangster Tommy (Jason Huber), his hysterical girlfriend, Marlene (Kendrah McKay), and their decidedly un-PC landlord, Flip (Michael Prichard) — make the most of the comedy. Stevenson’s writing and fantastically funny performance exudes sympathy for these characters, who are hilarious Southern stereotypes as well as everyday philosophers and artists in their own way. Guillermo Cienfuegos’ sitcomlike direction propels the hourlong one-act, and Norman Scott’s hotel room set is commendable for its kitschy, lived-in detail. Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; through May 20. (310) 822-8392, (Sarah Taylor Ellis)

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