BRUSCHETTA: AN EVENING OF NEW SHORT PLAYS, Appetite Theatre Company, at Act One Studios. This new company might have named its production after an unwieldy hors d'oeuvre. But as often happens with anthologies--in this case six short plays, one segmented into four episodes--the menu emerges as something of a mixed grill.
The insecure girl and disabled boy in Joanne Koch's Stardust are more fully written than acted, while the mismatched Net-met daters in Barbara Lee Kaplan's linguistically clever but otherwise inert The Simple Things are rendered comically vigorous by Chris Blumer and Stephen Whitehouse. M. Christine Hodak's Round 7 resembles a diary entry, Michael D. Graham's Trust Exercise a revue sketch (albeit an engaging one as played by Stesha Merle and Matthew Pearsall), and Renee T. Enna's Ray and Bradley at the SuperK could easily have been improvised on the spot. Only Keith Huff's The Food Chain--in which an indignant hit man denounces the outlaw tactics of corporate CEOs--brings together all the requisite theatrical elements.