Keeping it short and sweet

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By Kirsten Laskey

If anyone needs a lesson about how to write anything from an essay to a script “short and sweet,” they should turn to Los Alamos Little Theater (LALT) for some guidance. After viewing the community theater’s latest production, “8x10 Again,” it is clear they are the masters at making the most out of a short amount of time.

Eight plays are featured in the short play festival but the catch is all of them are only 10-minutes long.

The plays’ subject matter range from everything from a conversation between a bear and a dog, a woman dealing with an unusual lover, to a husband suspicious about what exactly his wife is and a gallery’s love of artwork by the most unlikely of painters.

It was unexpected just how many surprises these plays could pack in just 10 minutes, it seemed each one had its own twist.

Not only did LALT work with a bare minimum for time, they also seem to have bare bones for sets. The stage is mostly a blank slate so the audience has to use their imagination.

However, a very talented cast obscures what is minimized on the stage. The whole cast, down to the guy who has to thump his head in a bowl of split pea soup, is really great.

A few standouts include Sheila Schiferl in “Hoot.” She may have to wear the most unflattering outfit, but Schiferl delivers a lot of laughs in her role as a novice waitress. She comically shuffles in her high-heeled shoes and spends too much time talking to the customers.

Corey Steven New is another scene-stealer. His exaggerated expressions and gestures are hysterical in “Ferris Wheel” and his pseudo Spanish accent in “Fight Dreams” could make any girl swoon.

Kudos also needs to go to Larry Gibbons as Bradley in “Fight Dreams.” Wearing purple and red satin pajamas, Gibbons stirs a lot of laughs whenever he makes his eyes go all big and lovey-dovey.

The actors are talented but so are the playwrights, five of which are from Los Alamos. The jokes in their plays are not bland; they actually create laughs and the scripts contain surprises the viewer does not foresee.

See for yourself what LALT can put into 10 minutes. “8x10 Again,” will run at 8:15 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sept. 26-27. There will be a matinee show at 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for seniors/students. Tickets are available at CB Fox and at the door.