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Six appeal: A half-dozen one-acts at Theatre Three

Steve Wangner, left, and Brian Smith in "Useless

Steve Wangner, left, and Brian Smith in "Useless Information," part of the Festival of One-Act Plays at Theatre Three, Port Jefferson, through March 27, 2010 ( Theatre Three ) ltc Credit: Theatre Three Photo/

What makes an evening of one-acts like the San Francisco weather? If you don't like it, wait 15 minutes and it'll change. But at the 13th Annual Festival of One-Act Plays, you won't need to wait for any of the six entries to pass. While no forecast fits all, each play supplies its own ray of sunshine.

All that wintry white stuff we've endured makes Tommy Trull's absurdist "Viewers Like You" an apt opener. We think it's about a snowman porn film with serial directors, each second-guessed by his or her successor. Brian Smith and Elizabeth Ladd as the snow couple won't melt your heart, but their snow fat-suits are as loopy as the dialogue.

"Agnes's Little War" by Rosemary Frisino Toohey strikes the evening's lone portentous note. Sue Anne Dennehy, as the folksy title character, will do a "Today" show interview unless she receives an apology and a refund of her $25 presidential campaign contribution. The philandering candidate's fix-it guy makes a counteroffer.

On either side of intermission are tales of dysfunctional romance. Best friends are "Fooling Around" with each others' spouses (Ladd, Maryellen Molfetta, Steve Corbellini, Tom Evans). Oops and sorry summarize Jean Reynolds' confessional script. In Thomas Misuraca's "GPS," the sexy dashboard voice is jealous that the driver (Morgan Howell Rumble) has a date (TracyLynn Conner). Cheap one-liners aside, it's a hoot.

If you've ever said, "Hah!" (under your breath, of course) to someone's glowing eulogy, you may find Jeff Stolzer's "Anything Else?" especially, if inappropriately, amusing. Corbellini plays a son attempting to mourn his father. He has a special request for the funeral director, played with undue respect by Odell Cureton.

Capping this engaging six-pack is three-time festival author Frank Tangredi's edifying "Useless Information." Smith plays a geeky loser who seeks redemption as a game-show contestant. Dennehy plays his charitable church-lady opponent. Steve Ayle as the host roots for the geek's demise, while Steve Wangner as the mortified dad and Debbie Starker as church lady's pal compose the chatty peanut gallery.

Each play is selected and smartly directed by Jeffrey Sanzel. At six for six, who cares if it snows? We do.

WHAT 13th Annual Festival of One-Act Plays

WHEN | WHERE 3 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday, 8 p.m. next Wednesday and various times through March 27 at the Ronald F. Peierls Theatre at Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson

INFO $14;, 631-928-9100

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