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Always Open

comedy · life on its side studios · Ages 18+ · United States of America

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MIKE REYES mike-check.com certified reviewer June 18, 2019
tagged as: 24hour · Diner · music · 90s · nostalgic · funny
Always open is a pretty unique show, something the likes of I can almost guarantee you will probably not see again at this years Hollywood Fringe Festival. The show is set at 11:45 pm on a Sunday in 1994 at a twenty-four-hour dinner; you know the one I am talking about. Every town in America has one, the place you and your high school friends spent hours upon hours chatting about everything and nothing, when you had nowhere to be, and you didn't pay more than a couple of bucks for soda and appetizers and didn't tip the staff well. Yeah, I am talking about that dinner.... full review
JIM HANNA certified reviewer June 13, 2019
A clever, high concept hook sets this script apart from the jump. You essentially see the same play twice, once from inside the all night diner where these characters loiter and, following an actual flip of the set half way through, watch the same time frame played from outside the diner as the characters wander out for smoke breaks, etc. Genuinely clever, genuinely entertaining. The cast is solid with a standout or two and Susan Lee's thoughtful direction makes for some funny, touching, uncomfortable moments.... full review
MATTHEW ROBINSON encore judge certified reviewer June 30, 2019
tagged as: memorable · creative · Bold · well designed · clever
A well done story telling the same night in different perspectives. A bold concept in it's execution for the Fringe but one that mostly pays off great characters, motivations and solid performances throughout. ... full review
LARA REPKO certified reviewer June 28, 2019
At first I thought the show was going to be centered around the guy with the flannel around his waist. He’s purposefully a little obnoxious and interrupts his girlfriend, so you don’t know whether or not you should like him. But then, the girlfriend ends up sticking up for herself and you realize the play doesn’t center around them at all. In fact, it centers around the diner itself and how a central meeting place can bring so much life into one room. This is a story about a diner and how people love, live, and experience their lives with other people alongside them. Always Open is a delightful slice of life set on a minimal stage without the distractions of a huge set. The simple stage design worked perfectly and helped the audience recogni... full review
MARTIN RODRIGUEZ certified reviewer June 25, 2019
An enjoyable time with a great cast that tells this story so very well. Smooth like fine whiskey, this show was. I laughed and even had a few moments of "hmmm...". Solid production all around. ... full review
JOHN GONZALES certified reviewer June 23, 2019
If one could label a play, "high concept", then THIS play is it. I am so glad to see that Ryan Carbrey was able to get this piece staged at HFF this year! The cast really clicked together and you definitely felt the characters' connection with each other. Clever script... just so many good things to say about this one. I definitely recommend it!... full review
HANNA RICHTER certified reviewer June 21, 2019
tagged as: intellectual · 90's · profound comedy
What a fun show! The word that keeps coming to mind is 'pleasant.' I think it was such a clever idea to, not only flip the stage, but have the acts mirrored, which at first I found confusing but when it was revealed in the second act I was in love! Probably my favorite thing in the show was the dialogue from the rocket scientist character Murphy. I love when a show, especially a comedy, can find space to insert pockets of really intellectual and sometimes even profound dialogue. That character was played by Matt Clark, who was able to deliver with ease and conviction. Shout out to him, job well done. Just as much shout out to the entire cast, not a single person on that stage was anything less than a star!... full review
HOLIDAY KINARD certified reviewer June 21, 2019
This is a really interesting idea. I wonder if the audience could be let in on it a little earlier, maybe some strategic back and forth between the two locations in Act 1? But overall, it's a cool experiment, and it really feels like a typical late night out with some slackers in the 90s. I thought this line was particularly apt - "For people without much going on, they seem to have a lot going on."... full review
MICHAEL MNITZANI certified reviewer June 21, 2019
This was so nostalgic, bringing back to my high school days, going to Denny's and playing Mr. Roboto on the jukebox and ordering whatever being buttheadedish The play was late at night, but the play was super clever. Like, it was full of, "oh, I see what you did there". It's witty, kinda like Seinfeld meets super mario world castle levels with super cool gimmick meets "my dinner with Andre", but oh, for the sake of us, way better than "My Dinner with Andre". What I liked about the play is it really showed the way that we used to interact back in the day with our friends before cell phones became our focal points for connecting with one another. ... full review
IAN PRICE certified reviewer June 19, 2019
A snapshot of 90's life as told from a group of friends who seem to be going nowhere in life, and are cool with it. Images of Bill and Ted and the cast of Friends are conjured up when watching this show, and in some ways the show reaches those heights, and sometimes it does not. But at the end of the day, I don't regret seeing this show, and I don't think you will either. Check it out.... full review