Wednesday, February 8, 2017

3rd Rush 80s Edition - Side B (review)

Spoilers ahoy!

Force of Nature Productions has this thing they do.  Like many theatres companies they have an evening of very short plays (as in approximately 10 minutes), usually along a given theme of some kind.  In this case, the lyrics of songs from the 1980s.

Well and good.  Honestly, these VSP (Very Short Plays) in general make for a very tricky form.  Akin to a haiku, really getting much in such a small amount of time proves difficult.  At most what you can usually hope for is something very entertaining.  Which is good!  Anything more is gravy.

Rebels, Candy & Cat Allergies, written and directed by Andy Shultz and based on "Take on Me" by A-Ha, concerns a get-together by three young women, each vividly portrayed by Brianne Mammana, Heather Lehigh and Ashley J. Woods.  I laughed as they pretty much tripped over each others' idiosyncrasies.  But really this seemed more like a skit than the other offerings.

Penny & Daim written by Steven J. Alloway and directed by Aurora Culver, based on "Faith" by George Michael, is more of a whodunnit fused into a mini roncom.  Samantha Pearson, Jerry Chappell and Luke Castor are two private detectives and their client.  A new case blows up emotional tensions and romantic dreams, much based on whether faith in another (heh heh) can be wise.

That Voodoo You Do written by Andy Shultz, directed by Corey Chappell and based on "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo.  This one seemed to me the most complete of the six.  It not only had a beginning, middle and end, the plot was complete at play's end while each character had a full arc!  Anastasia Elfman, John Lewandowski, and Jahel Corban Caldera play a woman, her ex-boyfriend and some poor schmuck whom she raised from the dead.  As it happens, that was a trial run.  She brought her ex back to life just to break up with him (because NO ONE breaks up with her)!  Karma raises its ugly head as the two zombies begin to feel hungry...

The Great Wisconsin Orgy of '88 has the best title, though.  Hands down.  I also think it has the best chance of being expanded into a much longer play!  Written by Ian Heath and directed by Sebastian Munoz, based on "Your Love" by the Outfield, it tells a fairly messed-up story about parental issues, revenge, sexual excess and what amounts to professional paranoia.  David Kaufman, Meghan Lewis and Cristina Castano star.

Forever's Gonna Start Tonight by Adam Neubauer and directed by Brandon Scullion, based on "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler has a round it a big in-joke that I got but I'm not sure anyone else did.  On the other hand, maybe they did!  That tune later become the center piece of a German musical Tanz Der Vampir.  Susy Vera, Lara Fisher and Steven Alloway all play people extremely interested in vampires (for one reason or another) meeting for a dark rendez-vous all about immortality and the question who was the hottest vampire in The Lost Boys.  This one also has potential for a longer work, in my opinion, but needs several more characters.

Flash Gordon: The Musical - The Play by Jonathan Josephson and directed by Will Kleist, based on "Under Pressure" by Queen, on the other hand, I think has the makings of a slightly awesome small movie. Jennifer Novak Chun, Jonathan Aguricia and Adam Shows play background interpretive dancers in an unauthorized musical based on the cult classic movie.  In between numbers they kvetch and schmooze about things, with one of them heartbroken because this is his favorite movie of all time--while the musical sucks!

As of this writing, 3rd Rush - 80s Edition - Side B has closed (alas it only ran one weekend).  But I recommend you keep an eye out for its next itineration because it is likely to be just as fun as this one.  You will laugh at the very least, and probably quite a bit.  

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