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There’s the one-character one-man show: Hal Holbrook’s Mark Twain, for example. Then there’s the Sybil variety, where one actor plays a passel of different characters, as Whoopi Goldberg used to do back when she was funny. Trumpet Vine Theatre Company’s world premiere of J.D. Cerna’s Not as Cute as Picture is of the latter variety. Actor-playwright Cerna plays himself and 14 of his friends and co-workers during a pivotal year when Cerna’s alter ego, John, decides to quit his regular job and pursue his dream of being an actor. Along the way, he struggles to make ends meet and occasionally steps on the hem of showbiz, as when he becomes a chorus boy on a cruise ship, in one of the show’s better segments. The people he meets and impersonates along the way fall into two categories: gay stereotypes, whom Cerna portrays with affection, and closeted gays and all straight people, whom he views with contempt. John has no close relationships with either family or friends. His only companions are the imaginary piper whom he must pay to live his dream and the ex-lover dying of AIDS to whom he writes in letters that serve as scene-linking narration. Though not nearly funny enough to justify two-plus hours, John’s story has one or two bright spots: In Cerna’s opening, he acts out his dream of becoming the first openly gay rap artist, though the costume renders him more pimp than P. Diddy. His energy starts out strong and doesn’t let up anytime during the evening, and his ability to characterize via voice and body is first-rate. He plays Colin, the go-go boy, and Patrick, the great English actress trapped in a man’s body, with vibrant physicality. Vincent Worthington’s staging makes the tiny DCAC space serve as a dozen different venues. Snappy lighting and sound cues flick the action from office to dance floor to bar to friend’s apartment and back to a different office to start another series. But Cerna’s lack of sympathy for many of his subjects, and his counter-cliched portrayal of himself as definitely not willing to do whatever it takes to make it, disincline you to root for him. For example, after he takes the cruise-ship job, John finds performing the revue of Cats so humiliating that he breaks his contract and does only enough shows to earn his passage back home. People differ in their opinion of Andrew Lloyd Webber, but is it evident that anyone who would be entertained by seeing musical numbers from the show isn’t worth performing for? Nailing the audition for Just Shoot Me would have served John right. —Janet Hopf