StageHappenings Reviews “Out There On Fried Meat Ridge Road

Out There On Fried Meat Ridge Rd.
By Carol Kaufman Segal

Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice is committed to presenting new works through their Playwrights’ Unit and Festival of New Plays. Their latest presentation is by Keith Stevenson, a member of PRT since 1998. Keith hails from West Virginia and must have one heck of a sense of humor. His play, Out There On Fried Meat Ridge Rd., is one of the funniest shows I’ve witnessed in a long time. Even the title is funny, and the cast is absolutely amazing under the direction of Guillermo Cienfuegos.

Mitchell (Neil McGowan) recently lost his job, his girlfriend broke up with him, and he has nowhere to go. Down on his luck, he answers a newspaper ad for a roommate. He ends up on a country road, and in a rundown cluttered motel room (scenic design by Norman Scott) Mitchell meets JD (Keith Stevenson). JD seems different, a bit mysterious, but with an exceptionally kind heart. Mitchell is dumbfounded when he finds out that this is the room that is being offered. He was expecting a neat two-room apartment with a little more privacy. In fact, it more than upsets him. Just how upset is seen in the expressions and manners of McGowan! A very witty scene ensues between these two characters.

To add to the raucous, JD’s friend Marlene (Kendrah McKay), who lives in the motel room next door to JD, drops by in an angry fit because she suspects her boyfriend Tommy (Jason Huber) is cheating on her. Tommy eventually shows up with the cops following after him and the motel owner Flip (Michael Prichard) arrives to try to calm things down, but this is a laugh-a-minute play that never calms down. The ending is a blast, one that could never be imagined but, I can assure you, the laughter won’t stop. Performances of Out There On Fried Meat Ridge Rd. are Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM, and Sunday at 3 PM, closing Sunday, May 27, 2012. Tickets may be purchased online at www.PacificResidentTheatre.com, or at (310) 822-8392. The Pacific Resident Theatre is located at 707 Venice Blvd., in Venice, CA.