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Arts and Entertainment

Dazed Nurses Duke it Out with an Evil Doll in 'Sukie and Sue: Their Story'

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Michael John LaChiusa's demon doll horror-comedy, Sukie and Sue: Their Story, is playing at 2nd Stage Theatre in Hollywood. This Blank Theatre production depicts the slow demise of roommates Sukie and Sue, two pot-smoking nurses living in a possessed house where they receive olfactory premonitions from an evil rag doll. It is easy to revel in the low-humor and well-executed sarcasm of Sukie and Sue: Their Story, although LaChiusa most definitely should have pushed harder and taken the script's premise much farther down the road of strange and spooky humor. 

The heroines of Sukie and Sue: Their Story have traumatic and unfulfilling hospital jobs that compel them to smoke lots and lots of pot to recover from the stress of their shifts. Their shared home, which originally stood as a comforting (albeit smoke-filled) refuge from the rest of the world, quickly devolves into a mysterious, terror-filled haven for supernatural scary stuff. As the plot progresses, the demonic entity becomes a relationship-damaging, life-destroying third wheel and a very unwelcome roommate.

LaChiusa's characters are mostly one-dimensional and depthless, but for the story they are telling, further character development is unnecessary. The entire cast gives simple, but flawless performances. As the frenemy central characters, Lindsey Broad (as Sukie) and Rae Foster (as Sue) foster endearing spastic aloofness. Lenny Jacobson (as Sukie's boyfriend, Sal) and Mackenzie Phillips (as psychic medium, Barbara) stand out among the supporting cast. Jacobson has excellent, driving comedic timing while Phillips has a wonderfully smoky voice and enticing stage presence. Under the direction of Kirsten Sanderson, Sukie and Sue: Their Story is fast-paced with deliciously kitschy undertones. The script is far from genius, but Sanderson hones in on LaChiusa's cynical silliness to craft an entertaining night of theatre. The giddy-squeal inducing special effects by Matt Falletta are extremely fun, and definitely worth the price of admission.

Sukie and Sue: Their Story is playing through June 03, 2012. Tickets are $26 to $30 and available online or via phone at 323-661-9827.

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