John Cho, Wilmer Valderrama, Michael Ealy and Melanie Griffith Put On A Show


Sometimes when I am buying groceries at midnight in an evening gown or trolling for a coffee place that is still open at 1 a.m.—it occurs to me that I don’t really work traditional hours. I realized I am not alone, however, when I ran into the 24 Hour Plays crowd. To create the plays—put on to raise funds for the Urban Arts Partnership—creative-types started at 10 p.m. the night before writing, directing and rehearsing one-night-onlys to be put on at 8 p.m. the next day. Montblanc sponsored, The Broad Stage provided the venue and actors like: Seth Green, Wilmer Valderrama, John Hawkes, Michael Ealy, Melanie Griffith, Jason Biggs, John Cho, Jack McBrayer and Molly Sims (among others!) pulled out all the stops and revealed some never-before-seen talents. For instance, did you know that Wilmer Valderrama does an uncanny Denzel Washington impression? It’s pretty good.


After a few laughs (no one missed a line – although Griffith may have employed a cheat sheet at one point) everyone stayed up a little longer for an after-do at The Shore Hotel in Santa Monica. I smiled as I got into the elevator with my usual partner in the buffet line, Hawkes, who just an hour earlier played a father trying to calm down a crying baby (played by a rather stiff plastic doll that he carried strapped to his stomach). When I hit the hoppin’ bash around the pool there was Jack McBrayer (Kenneth from 30 Rock) who cruised swiftly by, only to be followed by some girls quite anxious to catch up with him. He was speedier than they were. It was a fine time, and as I drove home wondering if it was a bad idea to have a coffee at 2 a.m., I smiled knowing there were a bunch of other folks thinking the same thing.


Photos by Michael Kovac / Getty Images

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  • Sue de Fraine

    Sorry but when I saw Valderrama and Melanie Griffiths my thoughts immediately went to Costa del Sol and the golf course there, well Antonio comes from Malaga, just down the road! But Wilmer is a good looking guy!

  • Diane Childs

    Hah! That’s nothin’. The creative folks at the Ruskin Group Theatre at the Santa Monica Airport have been creating Café Plays–written, rehearsed, and performed–every month for over nine years! Theirs are produced in 10.5 hours!