Magnum Opus: Surf Dogs Unite!
No writer is credited for Magnum Opus Theatre, and it’s for his or her own protection. Every week, the ensemble mines one of L.A’.s richest natural resources — terrible unsolicited screenplays — and gives the unknown author’s words a sweet, brief life. And they use every word. When the description calls for “a beat,” the cast beat-boxes “oonce-oonce-oonce.” As host Thurston Eberhard Hillsboro Smythe (Brandon Clark) vows, “We didn’t change a thing.” Yes Virginia, someone sincerely wrote Surf Dogs Unite!, a bitchin’, brawlin’ morality play about a debauched biker (Troy Vincent) and a bible-toting sand dune disciple (Eric C. Johnson), who wrassle for the souls of promiscuous surfer Dan (Michael Lanahan) and friends Swave (Victor Issac) and Little Rad (Colin Wilkie). “To surf, or not to surf? Intense question,” opines Dan, but Jonas Oppenheim’s direction suffers no lack of purpose. Crisp and assured, it’s so funny, the proselytizing writer might be tempted to take a bow. But judging by a few loud audience members who hissed whenever Joshua flogged John 3:16, maybe not.