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Arts and Entertainment

So Last Saturday Night on Pico Blvd...

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I'm standing on a side street off Pico Blvd and a black SUV swerves out of nowhere and comes to a screeching halt on the sidewalk. Two men jump out clad in black with machine guns. They begin to talk intensely, officially:

1: Weve made our entrance into the area.
2: Thats a roger by my coordinates

Then above us on the roof, we hear a voice and all look up fast.

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3: Check check and a double roger on this end, check
1: Roger triple check. We are here. Secure the perimeter.

They fan out with their guns.

2: Secure
3: Secure secure roger
1: Triple secure triple roger, over.
2: Hold on a sec
1: Enemy?
2: Negative.
3: Looks like -- shit --

If your believability scales started to wane while reading that, it's okay. It really happened, but it didn't, you know? Anyway, it was just another night in the 365 Days/365 Plays festival. Moments like those are pretty common in this festival, and we're not complaining one bit.

When theatre companies bring us out onto the streets from uncomfortable seats, the play starts to become magical. The Black Dahlia Theatre is just that and we are excited to see what's more to come from them this year. These people are twisted. They are not even out of the box. They live in a world where there is no box. Genius... genius.

With a little more traditional grace, two weeks ago at the same festival in Pasadena at The Theatre @ Boston Court, they started the play 25 minutes before it was schedule to begin. But that trickery was also genius. They took one of the "constants", which are short plays the 365 playwright Suzan-Lori Parks said to throw in at anytime at the theatre company's will, and used it as entertainment while we waited for the scheduled plays to begin. The actor had to do 365 things as fast as possible, dictated by a piece of a paper another actor would hold up. Things like propose marriage to a girl, slow dance, do the robot, and do 15 pushups. When this writer walked in thinking he was late, the actor must have had the card "hug someone" because all eyes turned to me as he ran up and hugged me. I was quite confused and everyone was laughing.

I love this festival.

Now in Week Eleven, 365 will play tonight through Sunday at the Unknown Theater in Hollywood. The first play begins at 10 pm. More info at www.365inLA.com