CSUN’s Theatre Department presented the West Coast premiere of “Galaxy Video,” a play full of exciting scenes and performances executed brilliantly by the young actors under the direction of Adele Cabot.
Written by Marc Morales, the play dealt with a modern plot of colorful, young characters working in a video store reminiscent of any neighborhood video store. With Morales in attendance on opening night, the actors displayed their talent and proved worthy of the play’s West Coast debut.
Jerry, played by Patric McInnis, is a dedicated young store manager who is disappointed by one of his employees, Russel, played by Jim Miller, an aspiring screenwriter who does not take his job at the video store seriously.
Miller was perfect as Russel, making the right body movements and facial expressions to display an unsatisfied young man, disappointed by the conformity of his boss, and well aware that his own potential should be leading him to bigger and better things.
Meanwhile, McInnis excels at displaying a character we all know and recognize, perhaps working at a fast-food restaurant or some other part-time job. This young man accepts his job with pride, and does not question whether his post is worthy of him. Jerry can be pitiful at times, and throughout the play he shows signs of personal insecurity as he tries to take on the personalities of others, including Russel.
The characters involved in the story are diverse and interesting, just like those you might find in your own neighborhood video store, whether it be the narcoleptic employee responsible for leveling an entire video store’s shelves, or the young pot-heads who hang out in the back of the store acting out their favorite horror flicks.
Shelly, played by Devereau Chumrau, is the new narcoleptic and sweet employee who dances around the store full of energy, listening to her headphones. Chumrau made the audience laugh with her sudden collapses to the floor, right in the middle of a conversation with a customer.
Barnaby Franklin, played by Colin Jennings, is Russel’s ex-friend who makes money as a screenwriter and envies Russel’s writing abilities. Jennings shows off his dance moves in the play with some fancy footwork and song.
Other characters include an angry and disgruntled employee played by Jenna Zuccari. Zuccari plays the role of a girl in desperate need of anger management. She quit after one day at work, claiming that the customers were crazy people. But for some strange reason she returns, only to instigate a fight with a customer that same day.
One thing I disliked about the play was its opening scene. In this scene, two moviegoers entered the video store. This occurred behind the audience, and this provided some level of discomfort for those attempting to turn and look behind them. Perhaps it dealt with the limited space of the Studio Theatre. Aside from that, the rest of the play was fun to watch.
“Galaxy Video” is a great modern story dealing with themes recognizable by the common person, and therefore an enjoyable experience for anyone looking for good laughs and and excitement.
“Galaxy Video” will run May 5-8 and May 11-15 at CSUN’s Studio Theatre. Curtain is at 8 p.m. except Wed. at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.