June 25, 2004





He's a man with no convictions


Audiences may experience jet lag after viewing "18 Arrests, No Convictions," Michael Drescher's shaggy-dog solo show.


That's not only because he rushes through his text in a nervous blur. It's also because listening to Drescher's rambling mix of tall-tale anecdotes and banal life lessons uncannily resembles being stuck on a flight next to a ceaseless talker whose initial charm wears thin after the third Bloody Mary.


By his own account, Drescher, a broad, blustery 50-ish bachelor, has always been something of a rogue and a rebel. In childhood he was visited by angels and other fantastical creatures that seemed as real to him as his own family. In his teens he found reliable comfort in spirits of another kind; among its other attractions, alcohol proved to be a sure-fire cure for his youthful stutter.


Despite all this, Drescher and his straitlaced brother went on to form JDTV, a television-listings business acquired by Tribune Media Services in 1999. For his part, Drescher found spiritual healing in the form of audiotapes by James van Praagh and Leo Buscaglia. If he's been to AA, or any other brand of substance-abuse program, we don't hear about it here. Instead we get coy references to a series of "single-car accidents."


Apparently Drescher's family and friends lovingly called his signature mix of mischief and imagination "The Mike Show." But even under the polished direction of Justin A. Yoffe, this Mike Show is more therapy than theatre.

--Rob Kendt


"18 Arrests, No Convictions," One Tribe & Theater Planners at the Court Theatre, 722 N. La Cienega, W. Hollywood. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays, 7 p.m. Sundays. Ends July 11. $18. (310) 924-8628. Running time: 2 hours.