Jake Green and Susan Spratt in Notice Me
(© Mark Champion)
Jake Green and Susan Spratt in Notice Me
(© Mark Champion)
Attention-starved Southern California teenagers are perhaps a rather easy target for satire, but that doesn't make Blair Singer's comedy Notice Me, at the Wild Project, any less funny. The playwright has a gift for crafting hilarious one-liners, as well as more character-based humor.

The play follows the interconnected stories of the vapid Stacy (Susan Spratt) who is auditioning to be on MTV's The Real World; her insecure boyfriend Craig (Jake Green), who starts up a steroid regimen so he can bulk up as a football player; Stacy's brother Harry (Jason Shelton), a pothead and drug dealer who wants to better the world; and Stacy's best friend, Deanna (Annabel LaLonde), who has been harboring a crush on Harry.

It's not hard to guess the trajectory of various plot points, although there are still a few unexpected twists. One of the more interesting bits is Harry's participation in the "Big Brother" program, and the obvious affection he seems to have for the disadvantaged youth that he's taken under his wing.

The game cast is consistently entertaining. Shelton achieves the most character depth, with his low-key delivery perfectly pitched to bring out Harry's multifaceted nature. Green is endearing as the sensitive jock who suffers from bouts of depression, and gets to show off his toned physique in several underwear-clad scenes. LaLonde is given some of the play's sappiest lines, but is able to say them with conviction.

Spratt perhaps comments upon her character a bit more than she inhabits it, but she nevertheless gets across Stacy's shallow, self-serving nature. Her Real World audition, projected onto the back wall, nicely demonstrates the character's underlying vulnerability and desperation.

Director Sofia Alvarez keeps the show moving at a good pace, aided by James Bolenbaugh's mobile set pieces, which are easily reconfigured for quick scene changes. Daniel Roland Tierney's original music and sound design are also a definite plus, and help to set the mood for various moments in the production.