Corn on Macabre

This collection of eight short plays written and performed by WARP (Writers and Actors Reading and Performing) starts off OK with a cute hyperactive girl in a bubble costume made of balloons who blows real bubbles at the audience. She’s amusing enough, but the evening quickly becomes shticky and inconsistent. Each play seems to have its own set of problems, but mostly it all comes down to incoherent and uninteresting dialogue. I found myself tuning in and out, wondering why I should involve myself with these stories. Between the invading aliens taking over the planet, the psychotic ice-skater who has relocated to Costa Rica, and the diaper-wearing CIA agent, I just couldn’t figure out why I was supposed to care about these characters. The collection went from bad to excruciating to unwatchable, and I admit I only managed to make it through four of the plays before I bailed at intermission. Perhaps the gems were hidden in the show’s second half? NANCY SMITH

This intrepid reviewer decided to brave the infamous WARP festival and document the second act (the first act included klepto-receptionists who end up as Halloween props and Tanya Harding on the lam) for herself. I'm told that the show has overcome some fearsome technical difficulties from previous weeks, managing to deliver a credible and wickedly entertaining production. The tone and irreverent humor in this series of sketches is on key for the Halloween season. In Mari Salinas' Essanava, a poor town victimized by a well-heeled sex predator decides to pass out fillet of pedophile to all of the good little kiddies instead of candy this year. Local playwright Jorj Savage commemorates the true tale of an eccentric geriatric living in one of Seattle's seedier hotels among runaways, dead cats, and working girls just trying to make their condo payments. All in all, WARP offered a lighthearted evening of the best sort of macabre humor: the type you're not supposed to laugh at in front of your parents/kids, the clergy, or your boss. JENNA NAND

8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Nov. 1.

Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Oct. 17. Continues through Nov. 1, 2008

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