If I were to take a vote right now, I’d have to say that Gordon Bressack’s new play “Fuggedaboudit!” is the worst play I’ve seen this century. But then, of course, the century is new. So maybe I’d have to throw in the 20th century as well.
Fuggedaboudit, for those of you not of the Brooklyn or New Jersey or Tony Soprano’s Bada Bing persuasion, is their quaint way of pronouncing “forget about it.” Kind of like the transliteration of prayers into phonetic English for those who don’t read Hebrew.
In this totally messed up play, some nine weird characters have come together in a friendly intervention to try to help a guy named Guy (Shaw Jones) with amnesia recover his lost memory. In one vignette after another, these characters recall an event they have previously shared with him. Which wouldn’t be a bad idea, except that the “events” are inconsequential, boring, badly acted, unfunny, and, not to put too fine a point on it — stupid!
Among the gathering is Guy’s black brother, Mark, played by Gerrence George, who reenacts the way they used to gargle their milk together when they came home from school. Truly a significant memory, wouldn’t you say? And then there is Wendy (Jessica Rose), Mark’s ditzy pregnant wife, who has slept with nearly everyone there, including one of the gay guys (Christopher Le Crenn). The other gay guy, (Charles M. Howell IV) who has no memories to share, uses his turn to channel Bette Davis and overplay to the point of absurdity a scene from one of her movies.
Also present are Guy’s two girlfriends: a strait-laced blonde (Mary Kay Riley) and an oversexed, under-dressed vamp with multi-colored hair (Tara Ciabattoni). And finally, there is the gun-toting thug (Armen Torosyan) who arrives to collect the $50,000 that he claims Guy owes him. Ironically, Torosyan, hamming it up, is the only actor in this misbegotten travesty of a play who looks like he’s actually been on a stage before. If I give him the $50,000 will he let me out of here?
Playwright and director Gordon Bressack also appears with actress Marie Broderick in a scene they call a “curtain raiser.” She, like all the other women, also has a no-chemistry sex scene with Guy.
So, just in case I haven’t made myself clear: If you were thinking of seeing this play, fuggedaboudit!
But if you insist, it will be running Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. through Sept. 20 at the Hudson Backstage Theatre, 6639 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. Call (323) 960-7753 for reservations.
Cynthia Citron can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.