Sarah Quinn’s performs “Other People’s Problems” at Stage Left Studio in Chelsea this Friday and Saturday. It is an entertaining hour of satire on Anglo culture’s obsession with perfection and the soul killing emptiness of the industries that have developed to exploit it.

The show is three short plays punctuated by clever video productions. The first play imagines that we are at a self-help seminar; the second is a web cam chat with a teenage, Australian Ann Landers; and the third is a British woman listening to a self-help tape, hoping it will boost her confidence enough to speak to that special guy.

The skits get better as the show goes on (though that may be because I saw the show opening night). The first one is a bit dated. It is a send-up of the self-help seminars that proliferated in the 1990s that P. T. Anderson satirized in “Magnolia.” Long story short, the person offering advice needs to follow it herself. The second segment is brilliant however – a subtle autopsy of the nexus between technology and our all-too-human need for love and acceptance. Of course, this is the central theme of the entire show: when we seek out “self” help we are, in fact, trying to reach out to another, perhaps our ideal self, but more likely the friend or lover who is going to recognize and complete us.

In all three shorts Ms. Quinn shows off her finely tuned acting chops. She displays fine comedic sensibilities, and there is never a dull second in the hour.

Other People’s Problems

Stage Left Studios

214 W 30th Street, 6th floor

June 23, 24@ 7:30pm

$20

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