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August 6, 2016:

One of the Nice Ones reviewed by Rob Stevens

niceone

Erik Patterson’s One of the Nice Ones should give its audience pause—make them wish they were retired or self-employed. This outrageous comedy of office politics is being given its World Premiere outing by The Echo Theater Company at the Atwater Village Theatre. What starts out as a routine performance review, although there are rumors of layoffs at the telemarketing company, soon turns into a dog-eat-dog, no-prisoners-taken, scorched earth war between supervisor Roger (Graham Hamilton) and his wheelchair bound employee Tracy (Rebecca Gray). Tracy’s numbers are low compared to her fellow employees but her wheelchair is her ace in the hole and she plays it well. Sucked into the vortex of the escalating battle of words and deeds and misdeeds is co-worker Neal (Rodney To) and prospective client Colleen (Tara Karsian). The scene between Hamilton and Karsian is an absurd delight.

The insanity and vulgarity escalates to farcical proportions and director Chris Fields and his game actors go balls-to-the-walls in the ensuing shenanigans. Amanda Knehans modular scenic design featuring the staples of office décor and utility is a major plus in the production. The problem with Patterson’s script is that there really isn’t a nice one to be found among this quartet. They do generate some hearty laughs and the end result may be some audience members thinking of starting their own business or taking early retirement.

3stars

Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave. in Los Angeles. Ends Aug. 28 310-307-3753 or www.echotheatercompany.com

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