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June 20, 2015:

The Load-In reviewed by Rob Stevens

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David Svengalis has spent time coordinating Fringe Festival shows at the Three Clubs venue in Hollywood. Now he has written and directed The Load-In, a sort of insider’s look at what happens before the audience arrives. The Wax Robots are scheduled to perform their first gig at the club but nearly everything seems stacked against them. The drummer, appropriately named Crash, has crashed on the stage floor in a drunken stupor after consuming a pitcher of vodka after his girl dumped him. Guitar player Riff has smashed his hand in a car door while unloading equipment. Lead singer Mike has discovered he has a food allergy at a very inopportune time. As his throat is closing, he finds out there will be a record producer in the audience. Even all of flower child keyboard player’s Melody sage and candles and crystals seem doomed to provide a happy venue. But in the true tradition of show biz, the show must go on and the band launches into their opening number as the Fringe show ends. Svengalis has written a fun look at the backside of performing. Groupies can view it as a behind the scenes look while industry vets can view it and say “yeah, that’s happened to me.” It’s a quick-paced hour as the band sets up and the bar’s staff cracks wise. The cast seems to be having fun and so does the audience. Svengalis gets one of the night’s biggest laughs when he jury rigs the disco ball. It’s just a shame the guy with the pumpkin sax never showed up.

3stars

Three Clubs, 1123 Vine St. in Hollywood. June 27. www.hollywoodfringe.org

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