Puttin’ On The Fritz, now playing off-nights at Sacred Fools, is a pair of new one-
acts which premiered at the Fritz Blitz of New Plays at San Diego’s Fritz Theater.

Thumbs up for the first of the two, which not surprisingly won the Best of the Blitz
Award in 2005. Peaches En Regalia, by Steven A. Lyons,  is a very funny, cleverly
constructed, and original short comedy which Duane Daniels has directed with

Peaches En Regalia (the menu item) is, for those like myself unaware of its
existence, a “cross between a dessert and a side dish” which consists of a half
peach on a bed of lettuce, filled with cottage cheese, and topped with a

Peaches En Reaglia (the play) begins with an extended monolog given by a
young waitress named, it just so happens, Peaches (a very perky Elizabeth
Schmidt).  Peaches (the waitress, not the fruit)’s favorite restaurant happens to
be Doug’s Diner, so when her college business prof invited her out on a date, it
made total sense to her to have dinner there, and not at some fancy French
restaurant.  Naïve Peaches only realized that it was a date, and not a student-
teacher conference, when he tried to kiss her goodnight. Fortunately, in a bit of
quick thinking, she pretended that his attempt at a kiss was a sneeze, told him
“Bless you,” and that was the end of that. The one good thing that came out of
this date was Peaches’ decision to stop working at Merril Lynch and take a job
at Doug’s Diner, and that’s when she accidentally spilled Peaches En Regalia on
a customer’s lap.  (Oh, Peaches’ theory that all contemporary history can be
linked to fluctuations in gas prices is mentioned somewhere along the way and
should not be forgotten, because it comes up later in the play.)

In a second monolog, we meet Norman (David Nett in a comedic tour de force
as the nerd to end all nerds). Pathologically (and hysterically) shy Norman has
lately taken to reading self-help books to cure himself of his timidity. “I have
been practicing social banter,” he tells us excitedly, and just as seriously, informs
us that “I am practicing acting secure by learning to wink as a form of
communication.”  He’s also taking a Time Management class, learning skills
which he practices while waiting behind another man in line for a restroom stall
in Doug’s Diner, where Peaches has spilled Peaches (En Regalia) on his trousers.
How exactly does he practice time management?  Why by practicing winking in
the restroom mirror. When another Doug’s Diner customer fails to “respect the
circle of trust” by dashing ahead of the two men in line and taking a stall which,
unbeknownst to the two men, was empty all along, Doug explodes and a new
man is born.

Monolog # 3 is by Joanne (a funny Sasha Harris), Peaches’ friend from work, a
woman as in love with flow charts as she is with angora sweaters. In her flow
charts, Joanne has her life all planned ahead of her.  Trouble is, she’s hit 35, and
that’s when her flow charts all lead to her being married, which she’s not.  But
then she meets a man in a Chinese hand laundry (an event that wasn’t even a
box on her flow charts!) who’s brought in a stained pair of trousers, and the stain
just happens to have been made by…

And this is where Peaches En Regalia becomes a real honest-to-goodness play,
with characters who actually interact with each other. A fourth character, Syd
(a very good Edmund Wyson), arrives at Doug’s Diner in the mood for a tasty
dessert, and though Peaches En Regalia sounds like “just peaches with cheese
on top,” on Peaches’ urging, he decides to give it a try.

Peaches, Norman, Joanne, and Syd all get together in a delicious finale involving
Joanne’s “Jasmine Panties Theory of Love,” the discovery that certain
characters have already met, and a surprise double twist that gives all four
characters, and the audience, a happy ending as scrumptious as Peaches En

The second play, also directed by Daniels, is entitled Scott Stein’s First Play: A
New Play by Scott Stein, by Scott Stein. It is very avant garde and those who
are not fans of this genre will find themselves bewildered.  Five actors play Scott
Stein, or at least someone named Scott Stein.  One of these Scott Steins is the
narrator, who gradually loses control of his narrative as another of the Scott
Steins talks about being present for the Cultural Revolution in China (which was
before the real (?) Scott Stein’s time), and there’s something about 10-year-old
hooker and her pimp, and a 3 hour musical about Friar Tuck.  Confused? On the
plus side, there is some very unusual lighting by Christopher Gyre (including
scenes lit entirely in blue and others lit by the actors holding flashlights). The cast
of eight (Mark Charron, Karen Corona, Julia Griswold, Michael Holmes, David LM
Mcintyre, Laura Napoli, Andrew Thacher & Thesy Surface) do earnest work.

Sacred Fools Theater Company, 660 N. Heliotrope, Hollywood.

–Steven Stanley
January 30, 2008

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