The Guys in the Truck; Comedy by Howard Reifsnyder. Directed by David Black.

The strenuous new comedy drama at the fourth-floor Sargent Theater on West 54 th Street takes a sardonic look at the world of network sports broadcasting. A mean and viciously competitive world it is, according to ''The Boys in the Truck.'' For every power play on the football field, there is at least its equivalent among the sportscasters and their off-camera colleagues.

The professional jargon - obscenities and all - carries a ring of authority no doubt attributable to author Howard Reifsnyder's firsthand knowledge gained as a one-time staff director at CBS Sports. His antihero hero, Al Klein (Harris Laskawy), is a high-powered director whose rash gambling and marital delinquency have landed him in big trouble. Things come to a head in the remote-control truck outside the Cleveland Municipal Stadium on the day the Cleveland ''Cougars'' play the New York ''Panthers.''

Besides Klein, the denizens of the truck and their visitors include two prima donnas of the broadcast booth, a good-natured assistant director, a gambling ''enforcer,'' a union technician trailing grievances, and an obnoxious specimen of nepotism, as well as Klein's wife and local girlfriend.

As staged by David Black and with Kevin Hickson's seamy trailer setting, ''The Guys in the Truck'' achieves a slick, B-movie verismo atmosphere. The comic drama reaches the kind of climactic suspense that used to win frenzied cheers of a Saturday afternoon at the old Bijou Cinema. Whether it is the stuff of 1982 theater is another matter.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.