In "Pete's Garage" at Theatre/Theater, a couple aspire to become porn stars, a woman falls in love with her husband's mentally slow employee, a friend plots to improve her pal's marriage and an ultra-religious woman ponders what Jesus would do.
Joe Keyes' dark comedy about an alcoholic man, Pete (Keyes), who verbally and physically abuses his obese wife (Cheryl Hawker), depends largely on the snickering humor that results from bringing together this incongruous set of perverse small-town characters.
Don't expect any moralistic message. This is less a parable than a long joke with a nearly two-hour buildup. The script's strong point is its characters, and director Melissa Denton develops this odd assortment of types with care. The cast eagerly gives each a thin layer of repellent hickness.
These aren't people you want to know, but ones you're glad you don't know. Perhaps that's the perverse charm of this piece. When you leave, you feel you're better off than these people.
"Pete's Garage," Theatre/Theater, 6425 Hollywood Blvd., fourth floor, Theater B, Hollywood. Fridays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Ends Aug. 18. $15. (323) 871-9433. Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes.