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Hurts So Good

28381417_10155137341412750_272032904_nScrew “love” give me the warped endearing odd worlds presented in Love Hurts from Force of Nature Productions. At least this way after going “awwww” you can laugh at the absurdity that is the world of love. Love, that absurd dance with death which brings about life and change in our lives.

Speaking of dancing, that’s where we kick this adventure of vignettes; I’m assuming a group of vignettes is an adventure, because that’s what Plays are an adventure of emotions, FON is good, better all the fucking time, at weaving those adventures together in semi coherent arcs. While each story stands alone as it’s own entity, the gestalt of the jigs fit together, a moving flow of emotions with Sebastian and Andy acting as our emotional conductors as much as directing the directors and actors.

First shot to that funny snarky side of whatever organ serves as the seat of love is the Cupid Shuffle (Written by Stephen Anthony Bailey, directed by Tom Jones), a slice of life/love gone wrong and what new things can happen in the wake of an ending. Even if things end before they began. Funny, witty and touching Cupid Shuffle not only kicks off the night right with smiles and joy, while showing “love” is alwayse more complicated than the simple four-letter English word. Friends, even new ones can strike various cords within our souls, we simply need to find the right dance partners.

If Cupid Shuffle showed us an overlooked angle of love, 5am Workout (By Mike Knowlan, directed by Corey Chappell) takes a stroll down the humorous side of the beginning of a famous horror story. Go mad or flee screaming into the darkness of ignorance and superstition. Whatever happens when you can suddenly read the minds of those attracted to you, it isn’t pretty. It also plays out in hilarious, paranoid, self-absorbed ways on stage and it is glorious.

Most folks have a story and then a prop, but Sebastian does things oddly and his writers must work odd things into their stories. How do you combine love hurting and a teddy bear? To show us where a childhood was broken of course… Giving credit to Tyler Bianchi for crafting The Ghost Of Valentine’s Heartache which humorously handles what is beyond a painful topic. Props to Brian Hilarious for giving life and empathy to a man and a boy’s bear on stage. Paul Millett directed two strong presences (Stephanie Rojo and Susan D. Marlowe ) to push and pull complex the emotions with grace and humour into something oddly cathartic.

How the hell do you turn a trash bag and a flower bouquet into a stage piece? Be the brilliant Jennifer Novak Chun. Then making something weird warped and utterly perfect is what you do! Only Jenny and the quirky cast could keep the audience in such stitches with Heartbreak Roach Motel (directed by Heidi Marie) that no one realized there was technical difficulties. Nicole Craig helped with that, strutting on stage as a Cockroach Dominatrix in the most twistedly hilarious polyamourous arrangement ever. Managing to tackle social norms and sexism Anne Westcott with David Kaufman and Kyle Felts had the audience laughing and snorting, chuckling through the entire freaking piece.

That’s one thing I can say for Love Hurts, I smiled from the opening moments to the end. Trying not to let my laughter get away from me

That became harder as And They Called it Puppet Love (Written by Steven W. Alloway directed by Jeff Rack) unfolded. I’ve never been one to empathize with the person who strikes out has portrayed, Steven changed that with what he cooked up for Eli Godfrey to bring to life. Endearing, sad, pathetic and I mean all of those as compliments to the life Eli brought forth on stage. This poor bastage has a puppet for a best friend, and that should be the makings for a Seth MacFarlane style buddy comedy, but no, you get something poignant and oddly tragic for a short peace in a show of short stories. I was sitting there hoping Tosca Minotto’s character would at least give the guy a fake number or something, but what happened with Susy Vera and that Dustin wow…

Coming into the close of the show you need a good anchor. Go weird or go home, and to that end no one does fucking weird and just wow than Ian Heath on stage. Pushed further; directions I hadn’t seen before. Looking at the playbill, that makes sense. Jahel Corban Caldera, the too talented, was directing. What were those rehersals like, I digress, The Foolish Lover’s Game (by Roert J. Watson) was a perfectly happy weird silly end to a lovely weird heartfelt show. How one makes a couple of murders and adultery come off as heartfelt and sweet, Melissa Muñoz might have something to do what that. If it’s possible to steal stages from Ian her charm as the evil beauty Miss Cordova will have done it.

This, wasn’t just a thoroughly enjoyable show to see, but to review in the verb sense of writing this review. Seeing the show play back in my mind brings a smile to my lips still. It was a good show, demonstrating not only the multifaceted nature of Love itself, but that Force of Nature Productions is pushing challenging reaching for newer and grandeur vistas. This is easily the best show from the FON team with Sebastian and Andy working some lost magical art. Which as was pointed out recently, I’ve seen Sebastian’s work on stage for more than a few years now.

 

With this being the start of the season, I can’t wait to see what Force of Nature Productions has in store for 2018. We’ll need whatever smiles and tears they can stir this year for sure.

 

Love Hurts: A Rush Story ran Feburary 16-18 in North Hollywood at the Belfry Stage.

For information on future projects, and you really should look them up, www.fonproductions.com

Twisted Fucked & Fun

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Shayne Eastin’s PoPalypt1c is what every dark souled, tormented depths delved, artist hopes to pull off in their work, and in her directorial debut no less.

Chaotic light and sound cascades over the audience ushering us from our present states to some altered blighted blasted world razed from some near similar time. Through the darkness, fast moving, scenes unfold, bits of life accelerated to some unknown end; stopping suddenly upon some post end times world of Miss Eastin’s making.

Taking biting wit and sarcastic cuts into modern times, Shayne found the just right cast to bring her words and world to life. A dichotomous look at what happens after ends begin again; a strong antagonist to drive is needed. Enter a beautifully talented bastage of North Hollywood stage playing that eternal evil Satan (Jason Britt), or do I have it backwards… So hard to tell Jason brings a curious petulantly entitled Satan to life pouting over his blasted kingdom. What’s the devil without their henchman to kick around, Squeak (Anes Hasi) makes a perfect twink of an evil minion. Personifying the name into this cute evil hybrid Squeak somehow stole scenes without taking away. A perfect puzzle jig guiding the crazy loops to their end.IMG_0807

PoPalypt1c uses a neurotic look at what happens when individuals go off kilter, the broken cracks pieced together before becoming a golden silver Kintsugi. Near empty tumbleweeds going on blown by unfought winds: existence. Existence continues even if we don’t understand why or our place in this new world left after all inside, and out, us shatters.

Neurosis, neurotic, repetitive obsessively obsessive-compulsive dissociation retreated away from everything. Itchy (Nick D’Alberto) carries a tension through the scenes from start to finish, an anxious electrical charge to repel any sense of ease which may be found in our hells. With Radar (Skye LaFontaine), my favorite of mothers children, this withdrawn all observing “psychic” seeing what others don’t from that far off place her psyche has fled… These and more fascinating characters are given preternatural life by whatever weird laws govern Miss Eastins mind, I mean story world.

Each of the characters personifies primary and tertiary coping mechanisms or symptoms; cracks under the surface of society thrust forth from within. Eventually the fault lines rupture and the façade falls away, what’s left is… survival… Bleak desolate day by day existence, but in this day to day drudgery hope can be held so close to heart as to be nearly hidden even from ourselves. A “milk” some magical nourishment we don’t understand to keep us going. Enter a captivating lead in Mother (Caiti Wiggins) the mother hoping to continue life after needed deaths in a life/death/life arch.

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For anyone paying attention Shayne showed us that humans can continue on and continue on hoping, even secretly, for better even in the darkest of times. A needed lesson in this age maybe, but it didn’t feel like a lesson. It was given as hope itself, a funny, weird piece of art that leaves you wishing it went on just that much longer. Turning darkness into hope isn’t easy and Shayne does just that.

I was left smiling and happy, having laughed into and end times sunset of some dark twisted world. To leave darkness happy and laughing, wanting to know more about this world. It’s a fucking good feeling, a needed feeling in the start of 2018.

You don’t even need to roll the dice on this one, go, see the show and you’ll love it. There is enough fun and weirdness to touch anyone.

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PoPalypt1c (written & Directed by Shayne Eastin) runs Friday and Saturday nights 8:30 through February 17th at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group

For more information please visit www.zombiejoes.com

Bedeviling unwary haunt goers

DEVILED_Wednesdays_at_ZJU_200Every year the moon turns fuller, the nights longer and Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre conjures up fiendish delights. This year Deviled harries the psyche with demons truly out of a malady of the mind.

Deviled is both with and without description. As an experience unfolding before you; a vaguely remembered nightmare which still steals your breath in the daylight. Pressing your attention as far forward as you safely dare, you were warned to stay on this side of the demon safety line, you try to see what you’re seeing. How many heads and feet was that!? Turning your head to the side to try and get a better perspective a mass of flesh flows on stage to replace the previous horror.

I get ahead of myself, it starts with the claustrophobia. A dark, should be lobby, room with hangings forcing you to the center, keeping you safely away from the edges of reality through which you are being ushered. Pushing in further, motion and shadows compel you to listen to your instructions and move to what you hope is safety.

Huddle as close to the caution line as you can, the presence of those around you will be your only comfort. You’ll need it, once the show starts, beyond the safety line, that dark expanse of stage; where tension cracks on the air waiting for demons to usher forth, twisted, bent oddly, and shaped inhumanly.

Deviled feels like the vast expanse of maybe, that dust mote with which the flood waters of fear coalesce around, horror precipitating through the aether to pour down upon the earth of body, cold clammy fear sweat. Anxiety from the ‘what if’, the ‘what’s next’.

I was able to see as much, sitting on the riser, I could see the audience quite well, I could see the held breath waiting, and even after adjusted to fear presently pulsating on stage there was tension, apprehension that the next horror will be too close and too familiar. I saw audience members shiver, shaking off horrors, the skin crawling spine tickle following shock.

Deviled feels like it devils you, plagues at you. Deviled has that familiarity of “how the fuck did they know about my nightmare thing”, the closest I can think of is the Weeping Angels. When my friends and I tried to describe how horrible it was, we said “the WA were ripped out of our collective unconscious nightmares.”.

That’s Deviled, it feels like a nightmare we’ve all had, and it won’t stop… When is it over, when do we get to wake up?

 

Deviled (Directed by Brandon Slezak) runs Wednesday nights through November 15th 8:30p 9:30p 10:30p

For more information visit: www.zombiejoes.com

Hopeful Catharsis

tft-button_2_origEndurance, that stubborn ability to go on no matter what is a very human thing, raw & strained never knowing release until it comes suddenly, a snap.

The six stories in Tales from Tomorrow are awash in catharsis & raw humanity; the characters reflecting pains so real and deeply felt as to be palpable. Each story a complete emotional arch en miniature, a reflection of maybes and similarities of theme close enough that catharsis may be found to those who need look for such release.

Not every tale can end sweet and serene, life isn’t such. There are dark tales from Tomorrow, and the darkness looms deep from the beginning, with Jennifer Novak Chun in Magnum Opus. A lesson in being careful perhaps, deeper still, a lesson reflected back as a question. How does one go on with the time they have left? Soulfully sorrow filled notes drift forth from Jennifer’s violin carrying the audience forward through the Tales; life alwayse moves forward. Even when you don’t know where you’re going.unnamed

Painful repetitions, those times that simply won’t end no matter how much you want them to are on display with Where One Heart Beats. Carene Rose Mekertichyan is raw & powerful, portraying that love that just won’t die, and shouldn’t if words mean anything. The stark emotions, the strong use of her eyes and wry lips to be that manifestation of every hurt lover who absolutely meant every ‘forever’ leaves you exhaling deeply, pangs from your heart reflected on stage. Roman Guastaferro, every lover who… can’t quite grasp ‘forever’ lasts more than a moment. If you cause enough pain with your love those moments can last forever, and Roman shows the glib indifference of such a lover quite charmingly.

pretendRipped apart & stitched back together with shadowy reflections; Pretend Roses shows a ‘reality’ of pain so plainly as to be as true as a ‘story’ can be. Jerry Chappel reflecting a dawning realization too tragic to endure whole, and must be piecemealed out carefully by Carrie Muniak and Jason C. Daniels. Carrie and Jason bringing Jerry and the audience along, slowly and patiently with all the right words, the empathy… Tales from Tomorrow goes down many dark roads, and in this presentation shows how humanity can endure through those dark roads, it’s not alwasye pretty, but humanity endures.

LotteryEnduring is something humans are good at, even as we age we can go on, if we have to. Hansford Prince shows the dignity of humanity in doing what has to be done, even when you don’t want to, regardless of age. Taking the audience on a twisted ride The Lottery shows a cathartic strength from simply enduring through what has to be done. The twist, damn well executed, comes hidden in a twist of language already expected. Marnie Olson (writer) put a damn large smile on my face, not often I can’t spot a twist, sleight within sleight… Such twists had to be hidden and Gioya Tuma-Wak hid them from Hansford and audience alike with such sweet turns and kind pulls towards the unpleasant necessity.

Swipe LeftSpinning off the twist, comes a twistedly funny and poignant story in Swipe Left. Tales from Tomorrow is a world of what ifs, and Olivia Sundeen takes joyful use this showing us a world where we are alwayse looking for the next perfect match. As mirthful as Olivia shows herself to be on stage, Sam Grey shows himself to be a quick witted chameleon, swiping through a near endless array of characters. I half expected to see Sam blur on stage the say one does on shows with the preternaturally fast. Robin Williams didn’t cycle through as many characters in a short time while playing Genie.

This is the second Tales from Tomorrow I’ve seen and it has taken steps down a different path. Before we looked through the lens of mostly dark what ifs, now, while still having dark elements hope shows through. A way out is possible Tomorrow, you’ll be safe in three Tomorrows, Tomorrow you’ll reach the stars. The paths of life are long, but humans endure, and this version of Tales from Tomorrow shows the strength in humanity, and offers catharsis for those who need it. Tales from Tomorrow is full of grand emotions and simply good theatre.

Tales From Tomorrow (currated by Sebastian Muñoz) is currently under extension, please visit www.fonprods.tix.com or www.fonproductions.com for more info.

Discordant Unified Terror

Brave_The_Dark_615_JPG-73Beckoning you to walk into the light, Zombie Joe ushers you into the, near soon, darkness of Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre, and their newest Brave the Dark immersive horror attraction.

A company already well versed in enveloping you in oppressive horrific atmosphere, has brought the terror right to your being, surrounding your taking you down into the darkness with cacophonous chaotic laughter, undulating sound, & hypnotic visuals.

There is no way to not be disoriented in this madness; a tool to quicken your breath, stagger your step and stop your heart the fears approach you from all angles.  I once read the reason we fear the dark isn’t because we are afraid of what’s out there, but what’s inside us. The ensemble at ZJU has poured from the collective unconsciousness a swirling soup, a poisoness broth of the human psyche distilled.

It’s a good thing Brave the Dark runs four times a night, there is simply too much to see in one take, above, below, & all around you there is palpable horror. There is too much to see in one go, and there is too much to describe in this one review, particularly as any descriptions will do no justice to the man demanding some head, or someone who simply wants to find their mother… Mayhapse avoid looking too long upon that undulating mass over there or what the heck was writhing under that sheet… Whatever it is, you’ll have to experience it to truly consider yourself brave.

Brave the Dark runs Fridays and Saturdays in North Hollywood at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre four times starting @ 10 PM

For more information please visit http://www.zombiejoes.com

Pulsating Truth Pressing Thoughts

BloodAlley3@ZJU_PostcardBestWhat purpose does horror serve in society, other than an endorphin and adrenalin thrill ride and maybe a good excuse to snuggle close to someone…

It informs; horror shocks the consciousness into wakefulness through violent terror induced understanding, voyeuristic to be sure, however the only way to show the darker truths folks strive to remain blind to.  The witch in the woods was simply to scare children off of the dangers of the wyld wood, Undines & cracken to warn of the dangers of the sea, the pied piper to avoid the sell song of the stranger… The Witch the horrors of coming into puberty as a woman in a world of men… Get Out the complex relations of how even those who appear to be allies can be more dangerous than the overt bigots…

ZJU’s  latest show takes that premise of informing, waking up through horror down twisted turns ever spiraling down human pathways alwayse there; the left turn down any street, road, way or Blood Alley that we choose to remain blind to. It’s hard to remain blind when it’s right in front of you though, that’s what Blood Alley does. An ever present thrum of life in front of you all the horrors to the left we ignore…

Ushered through the darkness guided through the nightmare of reality before you with an ever pressing pounding beat, Kevin Van Cott’s living score keeps your heart racing your breath caught in your throat, ever prepared for the continual undulating coup de grace from the pieces on stage. An organic beat ever present, pounding of quickened heart, chocked breath, a wave of living sound washing over you, keeping the torment of life going, unable to look away for the constant beat pressing you forward through countless weighted scenes.

BloodAlley3@ZJU_PHOTO-1The deep layers to Blood Alley kick off from the start, if you’re of a mind to see them. The journey opening with a cop, shepherding the narrative forward, whom pulls the audience into the dark of the Alley. How dark a journey when even a peace officer must turn away from his first blush with life. Things can only get more human and more darkly real from go tonight.

Be prepared for the loudest silence you’ve ever felt, figuratively and literally. A nearly dialogue free show, with a constant beat of drum and instrument, the scenes unfold leaving you with only your thoughts, your interpretations of what unfolds before you. The longer the pounding absence of word and form the louder your conscious grows, louder and louder still. Do you find catharsis seeing horrors you’ve lived through, does a scene jar you awake to realize just how isolating the constant push of life is, a beautifully sad & scared Nicole A. Craig stumbles through an underground clearly in distress yet the world ignores her as they do all others who suffer. A scene sadly juxtaposed with the ensemble opening in which the undulating mass of beautiful humanity gathered around Nicole wanting her entirely. The ever present loud silence hammers home the reality of this horror; we are disposable to the wrong folks…

The scariest part of Blood Alley isn’t the vividly displayed horrors, it’s the message the core that this is life, it’s real it’s raw, and people are the scariest monsters. This would all be without weight if it weren’t for the powerful ensemble at ZJU making beautiful art through a gruelingly intense performance. So many individuals stand out living pieces of a machine ever reaching to crescendo. Michelle Danyn for instance bringing horrifyingly beauty to death, in her portrayal of a corpse come alive, or showing the startling confusion of love’s control reversed, snuffed out. One pray we never need appear on news camera and say “no Jason Britt never once showed any manic signs…” so powerful his facial control able to bring up the darkest of masks, the hungriest of carnal wants, to the placid bliss of wasted life. (all compliments intended Jason you display emotion fucking powerfully)BloodAlley3@ZJU_PHOTO-4

There isn’t a scene wasted in Blood Alley where an individual doesn’t stand out supreme, from the opening with Elif Savas’ gorgeous voice rending the darkness apart; startling the audience with horrible beauty. If there isn’t an actress/actor at their isolated pinnacle than the entire ensemble becomes an organic beast raising the tide of emotion across all levels. A pulsating ensemble so human and so very charged with emotion & yes sex.

Some of it is subtle, some in your face like the preshow. Costuming and body control are very much a part of it, particularly for the isolated scenes, one or two presences on stage. Patrick Beckstead makes one fucking fine looking priest in a well cut suit, delicious enough to tempt even the most pious male attracted persons, and some female attracted as well. With the gothic goddess Shayne Easton covering the span of, in control to on the edge, femininity in an endless display of form becoming dresses. Jason meeting his force & control match in the sexy and “endowed” Yael Wallace portraying a beautiful transwoman and hungry transwoman… Sex is part of life, a powerful part of life, powerful in that to own and control such power one must own and control themselves.

That perhaps is the key to survival as presented in Blood Alley, control over self, a rising power from within. In all the horrors presented on stage, there are treads of hope, in the form of persevering strength. There are horrors around, and as seen in the underground not many will stop to help, so you have to tie those sheets together and escape.

Blood Alley is a powerful ride ready to sweep you away for any brave enough to venture to North Hollywood. For best experience I’d recommend arriving early and grabbing seats on house right, left of well you’ll see. That’s the one flaw in Blood Alley, it’s blocking, use of stage. While the stage set up portrays the living alley quite well, there are a few scenes which lose their effect for 30-45% of the audience if they sit in the wrong places. There are several powerful walking off scenes which start at the 50 or 55% mark preventing a sizable chunk of the audience from ever seeing the powerful expressions on performer’s faces. As well as using floor center instead of what appears to be the head of the stage to elevate important singular stationary scenes.

It’s hardly even a medium sized thing, and the affect of an alley worth adjustment, but Blood Alley is a show that deserves a chance for the weight of its powerful imagery to take full effect. You’ll want to see as much of this show as possible and there are vantage points which can leave you out of that one on one intimacy between performer and viewer. Particularly for one or two powerful scenes.

If you’ve made it through my ramblings, go see Blood Alley, there is only one weekend left and it’s the best show to open up the summer heat in my opinion.

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Blood Alley (Directed by Zombie Joe) runs through June 10th at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre in North Hollywood.

For more info visit: http://www.zombiejoes.com

All Photo Credit: ZJU

Humanity distilled & transformed

THTRAlchemy1With a booming, Welcome to the Theater, welcome from John Kenower, in a brilliant opening/introduction. John created a strong character that could host their own show, his stage presence was powerful from go.

Hitting hard from curtain, is a grand catching harbinger you’re about to spend an evening catching your breath; exhaling & trying to take it all in.

Jonica Patella as a gender bent fairy, named Poorly, in a mailbox with the gender neutral Truly (Gloria Galvan) kick off the night with amazing upside down energy. I’m sure if one could harvest the essence of Jonica’s transformative energies, her twisted turning spiral, ever descending plunging into the deepest darkest fathoms of extreme faemanity, humanity, they could power an empire. Or at least bestow a portion of that blessing upon many thespians, the ability to take any aspect of the human condition and spiral it to it’s most extremes. Made more apparent by the zen like ability of Gloria to hold the stage next to such energy in stillness, drive the arc forward through subtle turns. Maintaining the drive of the story through the storm of Jonica transforming… Wow…THTRAlchemy4

All to the credit of that mad task master, the wraith minded, fierce & sharp, Elif Savas. Practically an elemental fae-force manifest, her direction you can see the madness which she brought forth on the stage, the rise and fall of emotion, pulled forth from Gloria and Jonica something alive & powerful, all the more beautiful for the ephemeral nature of the stage.

Frustratingly maddeningly restrained sensuality, the lub-dub of heart throbbing pressure awh the gentle release of breath next to ear. Monica K. Ross hammers home a hard sensual line over and over until you’re breath falls in rhythm with the flow of breath & emotion on stage, hard to soft cutting building. John Kenower’s firmness with his opening carries through in his direction of Let me be bamboo for you. John cages the raw fury of Miss Cate’s writing only long enough to direct the blast of restrained sexual nuclear fusion right into the breath & beat of the audience. Monica, becomes an ever flowing rhythm & flow, back and forth against an endless pressing presence; Rick Brown. A ceaseless flow of emotion ever more constrained, frequencies rising, manic crescendo shattering upon = suspended release for the audience, a breaking of tension through denial, evaporation. The timing and ever constant lub-dub breathe in & out tension cutting off breath frantically rising…

Left seeing the writer lay bare through verse & breathless flow; it’s a good thing this show has an intermission coming up soon, hopefully, help, I need air…

Taking a voyage past titanic archetypes of the gender divide Vanessa spins a tale of a monolithic masculine, *writer makes extravagant hand gesticulation at screen to describe the, mountain of man Captain portrayed by John T. Cogan. That ever distant untouchable unknowable even to himself man’s man. So repressed in his everything, restricted & controlled, ever so confused as to why there is a yearning ever present. Mayhapse treat your Daisy (Ilona Kulinska) as well as your vessel and… well we all know how well that would go. Ilona encompasses an archetype hard to portray, the surrendered. To give yourself over in a way that retains agency, riding the waves of life another directs your course through. It takes strength to do so, that’s the Titan of womanhood Ilona portrayed, from the wrong angle many might see full surrender, but it takes strength to flow with the course the one you care sets… Ilona captured this splendidly. Again that talented and off center talent Miss. Savas drove such huge ever elusive icons of masculinity and feminitiy from the depths of her cast. Given chart from Vanessa, Elif set speed & meandering raging sea building course.

THTRAlchemy18Lemon Head, both the character and the vignette serve as a perfect portrait of privilege & imperialism. White collar culture superiority, elevating the mediocre to such great heights, destiny manifest and all that focus studied ever assured ever striding forward buy sell focus group quietly report steamrolling individualism never stopping alwayse going… American western exceptionalism. Thanks for thinking my thoughts for me Susan (Mariana Leite) playing the part so many of us know too well. The one who says the idea the A type male dude bro repeats as if it were his own. It’d be less tragic for its hilarity were it not ever so damn true and Mariana shows this truth ever so well. Can an over worked insomniac be woke, or is it an intense dream state like being woke. Starting from the bottom of insane insomnia I guess one can only pass out or wake up. Roger K. Weiss takes Lemon Head by the scraps of held together psyche that is those about to wake and runs hard against the endless corporate motto showing the fate of those who over slept/showed up late…

For the highs of Lemon Head, it’s the one piece in the collection with a few flat lines, mistimed moments that could have better drawn out those Ah ha recgonitions of the problems related to us by the narriative, lines sped up. Enough that the weight of Lemon Head before dampened ever slightly by the slowlness in places. THTR Alchemy is intense and Lemon Head delivers, those extra beats as the audience grows wrestles though… mute the power of the delivery.

Take careful notes Lisa (Alariza Nevarez) will tell you exactly what you’ll need fourteen strokes of to win your men ladies, and perhaps small low upper body strength men. How to win a guy in one hour is a manic ride, teeth clenching tense seeing Alariza portray a human that is at this moment out there. Or maybe I was caught up in the intensity of her performance; I hope there aren’t too many women like Lisa out there.

Bridget, with Monica K. Ross as Bridget & Rick Brown as Terry is realistically cute. Anyone who has ever been a couple has lived some version of the scene unfold in their lives. Utterly human there portrayal was real & sweet and I can’t add anything with flowery verse to say more or better. It was truly nice theater, sweet & human.

THTRAlchemy14Speculative fiction has many trappings and overlays, fantasy being a grand beautiful one of them, and Shayne Eastin’s words do better justice then mine do to the definition of fantastical spec fiction. Message, hope, warning even if it’ll never be heard by enough the journey is sweet enough to give catharsis to those who go on the journey (audience awake). Fantasy is pretty, used well it’s a sharp thorned rose drawing those who know not they hope to change in. As Fleet (Sasha Snow), Spring (Spring), & Floot (Jonica Patella) are dangerously deployed by Vanessa Cate to lure the audience in along with Daniel (Max Faugno) & Ezra (Aj Brody). Destroyed & transformed those two boys were as all must be who are about to wake. I wish Miss. Eastin’s words, her allegory would wake a few others to the core of her message.

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THTR Alchemy ran Friday & Saturday May 19 through 27th, a production of True Focus Theater showing at the Eclectic Theater.

For more information please visit truefocustheater.com Miss Vanessa Cate is constantly blowing minds and shocking sensibilities with her wonderful productions.

All Photos credit: Adam Neubauer

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