Pigs and Chickens - Theatre Review

By Annette Semerdjian

Andy Shephard, Poonam Basu,
Sharon Freedman, Anil Margsahayam,
Christopher Reiling and Lizzie Peet
Photo by Peter Carrier
With all the charm of a comedy about a dysfunctional group of people and all the beauty in genuine human connections comes "Pigs and Chickens" by Ensemble Studio Theatre LA at Atwater Village Theatre. The story delivers on two ends: the hilarity of working in an office and showcasing the importance of human connections in a tech-obsessed world.

The play starts off with Wili (the hilarious Sharon Freedman), the new contracted technical writer who tries to greet her new co-workers as they refuse to unglue themselves from their computer screens. The office is focused on building a new technology that is supposed to replace all human resources departments, and Wili is unexperienced in tech but comes from a screenwriting background. Her anger management issues add to both the humor and depth of the play, constantly battling a raging fit about to burst as she comes to terms with how much her anger issues have deprived her of human connections.

The office is filled with an array of characters who are all so funny in their own way but also all matter to the story. Even rude and brash Stephanie (Lizzie Peet) finds a way to compel the audience (we care what happens to her when the story reaches its end). Poonam Basu plays the snarky Aditi who is constantly dodging the unwanted affections of Chris (Christopher Reiling). Basu and Reiling deliver some of the biggest laughs by playing off each other so well.

While others are focused on their job at the company, Sam (a nickname used by the character so people can pronounce it), played by Anil Margsahayam, is trying to launch his screenwriting career and keeps pressuring Wili to do the same. The boss at the company, the constantly annoyed Brett (Don Cummings), also has an unexpected side gig that he contemplates pursuing full-time.

The nerve-wracked and nerdy Brian (Andy Shephard) tries to wrangle the pigs and chickens with his daily workplace exercises that only he seems to take seriously, which further adds to the hilarity of the show.

The acting was truly the best part of the show. This is one of the few productions where every actor presented a standout performance.

Director Kevin Comartin lays out the show in a way that further engages the audience throughout the play. The story really achieves connecting the audience to these characters the way they wish they could connect to people in their own lives. Writer Marek Glinski created a unique story that leaves us with the question, what happens when the technology we create has a few lessons for us to learn ourselves?

"Pigs and Chickens" plays at Atwater Village Theatre through April 15 and is the show to catch for laughs and some food for thought.

Posted By Discover Hollywood on March 19, 2018 11:06 am | Permalink