24 Hour Plays LA

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There’s always something fun going on in Lala land. Last weekend, I went to the 24 Hour Plays at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. The event – where six short plays are written, rehearsed and performed in a 24-hour period – has been going on in New York for years but this is only its third time in Los Angeles.

While I had my doubts about the quality of the plays, I was really impressed with what they managed to achieve in such a short time frame, particularly Bear Witness and Something About Lily, my two favourites.

Maybe it’s just that I still have a soft spot for Seth Green from his days as Oz in Buffy The Vampire Slayer but he was perfect as Build A Bear employee Gregg who has a romantic encounter with dippy bride to be Maise (Lucy Punch).

I also loved Something About Lily, which achieved the (almost) impossible and made me love Wilmer Valderrama. The always wonderful Anna Camp was excellent as the ditzy woman torn between her cheating fiance Adam (Wilmer) and her bumbling criminal ex-boyfriend Derek (Skylar Astin), who tries to rob the liquor store they all find themselves in.

Organisers Montblanc and the Urban Arts Partnership put together a stellar cast including Melanie Griffith, Jason Biggs, Molly Sims, Anna Camp, John Cho, Jamie Chung,Michael Ealy, Jack McBrayer, Ashley Fink, Seth Green,Ian Harding, Wilmer Valderrama, Sasha Alexander,Skylar Astin, Samantha Barks, David Krumholtz, Rosie Perez, Lucy Punch,Romy Rosemont, Hannah Simone, Alia Shawkat, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Tracie Thoms.

Two students Emanuel De Los Santos and Cedeshea Oliver, were also chosen to take part in the productions.

And of course the whole event is for a charitable cause (Urban Arts Partnership) so everyone left their egos at the door. No tantrums, no diva behaviour. Almost unheard of for an event involving so many celebs!

Afterwards everyone decamped to the fabulous Shore Hotel for the afterparty where Rosie Perez kicked things off by taking over the DJ Booth. Melanie Griffith brought her son and daughter along. Ashley Fink twerked it on the dancefloor with Alia Shawkat and Gillian Jacobs while Tracie Thoms took over the karaoke.

Fun times!

Check out some pictures below (courtesy of Montblanc/Getty Images)

 

 

 

Jack Reynor: The new George Clooney?

It wasn’t that long ago that most of us hadn’t even heard of the 21-year-old American born Irish actor but Hollywood is a fast paced place and now Jack is one of the most buzzed about young stars around. He’s winning acclaim for his work in Lenny Abrahamson’s What Richard Did, has landed the lead role in Transformers 4 and his name is being linked to a host of high profile movies.

One of Jack’s first major roles was in Kirsten Sheridan’s Dollhouse and her father Jim Sheridan is a huge fan of the actor. I spoke to Jim last week at the Oscar Wilde: Honouring The Irish In Film pre-Oscars event and while he was reluctant to compare Reynor to Farrell, he thinks Jack is comparable to another major movie star.

 Jack Reynor is good but I think he’s different to Colin. He’s the new George Clooney really. He’s different to Colin. Jack is a bit of a star though. I’m amazed by how many great young actors there are coming out of Ireland like Saoirse Ronan, Jack, Robbie Sheehan. It’s fantastic.”

 High praise indeed from the man who directed Daniel Day Lewis to his first Oscar!

 Reynor has also been linked to the role of Four/Tobias in the big screen version of Veronica Roth’s Divergent, which is set to become the next big teen franchise. [Think The Hunger Games rather than Twilight.] One of his competitors for the part is Alexander Ludwig, although the Canadian actor didn’t seem to think so when I spoke to him at the Montblanc and UNICEF Signature for Good 2013 charity brunch over the weekend.

 It’s a great role and I have read for it but I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I am really interested in the part but the movie may be too similar to the Hunger Games so we’ll see.”

 Wise words or just a young actor covering himself in case he doesn’t get the part? Who knows, but either way it looks as if Reynor is unstoppable for now.

George Clooney

George Clooney

Jack Reynor

Jack Reynor

Colin Farrell

Colin Farrell

Alexander Ludwig

Alexander Ludwig