The Load-in is a light situation comedy following a band “loading in” a bar. The genius is in the location-location-location. The 3 Clubs Bar on Vine is the perfect venue.
The show actually starts when you walk in the door. The bartender played with total realism by Tony Nunes is waxing the bar, digging into the corners, buffing anything that shines (He deserves a raise). The give-away comes when and if a customer asks for a drink and the actor has to send him out to the Real bartender.
The audience was prepared to laugh and there were plenty of one-liners to tickle their funny bone. As a pro musician myself who has loaded in uncountable times, I was curious to see the show. I laughed at times when nobody else did because some moments were so absolutely spot on.
Instrumentalists have personalities that seem reflective of their instrument and I agreed with most of the writer’s choices. Devin McGregor Ketko was non-stop entertainment as the Diva, keyboardist, eye candy. David James Baker was intensely the lead guitar player. I’ve met his character in real life. David Haverty was the bass player with all the appropriate side comments. Evan Marcus as Crash the drummer spent most of his stage time passed out on the floor and then made a miraculous recovery to jump on the drums and prove that he actually could play.
The play suffered in being slow. The band members did a lot of checking and rechecking the monitor connections and other repetitive make work business. The guitar chord business went on for so long that I almost yelled “Check the battery.” I think this is one of those pieces that would benefit from being written by a group of two of more musicians including a female musician. It’s a great idea and could be fleshed out.
The Load-in is good light hearted fun and, yes, we were graced with a musical performance after the Band got their act together.
Written for Discover Hollywood Magazine by Suzanne Birrell.