Review of Another Jason Katims Project

This is a not so nice review of a play written by Roswell executive producer, Jason Katims.

From: LA Times Theater Beat

‘Basking’s’ Two Tales Depart From the Hollywood Script

Falling Safe’s presentation of “Basking in Hell” hopes to bask in the glory of currently hot writers Aaron Sorkin and Jason Katims, but this two-play bill at the Stella Adler Theatre isn’t especially glorious.
Sorkin, author of “A Few Good Men” and the creator and executive producer of the television series “Sports Night” and “The West Wing,” is represented by “Hidden in This Picture.” First-time movie director Robert (John Rowe) watches the shooting of the mess that will be a movie based on a script by his friend, playwright-turned-scriptwriter Jeff (Devon Michaels). Jeff’s masterpiece has already been re-crafted by the studio and undermined by beautiful but vacuous actors.

Sorkin not only takes shots at Hollywood’s system, but also aims at intellectual aspects of dramaturgy–“Yale drama crap.”

Michaels and Rowe express the neediness and prickliness of longtime friends who are also co-dependent creatively, under Evan Richards’ deft direction.

A writer for “My So-Called Life,” screenwriter and co-producer of “The Pallbearer” and executive producer of the television series “Roswell,” Katims fares less well with his pallid “Who Made Robert De Niro King of America.” The play, which opens the bill, is about Maggie (Royana Black), whose first book was a literary sensation, but who now suffers from writer’s block.

Her semi-illiterate blue-collar husband, Red (Joseph Cassano), is out of work and typing his first screenplay. Enter Maggie’s barracuda of an agent, Sam (Janet Lo), and the marriage suffers a minor and unconvincing setback. Sam pounces on the screenplay as a De Niro possibility and then tries to get some horizontal action with Red.

This might have worked better if director Devon Michaels had pushed it over the top. The writing remains thin.

With its low production values, this bill won’t build anyone’s reputation.


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