Today, we review three shows: Puppet Mayhem,The Inventor, The Escort, The Photographer, Her Boyfriend and His Girlfriend and This Vicious Minute
by Tony Bartolone~
Imaginative, fresh and edgy, Puppet Mayhem mixes short and long form improv with fun music and precocious puppets. From the games found in the playbill to the prizes in the “Can of Crap,” you are sure to enjoy this vibrant show.
Puppet Mayhem has cult following written all over it. Not to say, it wouldn’t do well with a mainstream audience. It is clever, fun and full of energy! The possibilities seem endless for these little monsters and animals who aim to teach us lessons about life. This celebration of live theatre succeeds in blending different styles of improv and comedy.
There is nothing more joyful than seeing a puppet struggle at work or make “yo mama” jokes. Witty lines are produced as if magically plucked out of the air. The performers and puppets alike are talented and entertaining. This innovative spectacle is pleasantly designed to put a smile on your face. Though let it be known this is not a children’s show. It is a children’s show for adults. It’s as if Sesame Street grew a pair and said fuck every once in a while. I recommend you check out this interactive spectacle.
There are no more performances scheduled for Puppet Mayhem
by Joel Elkins~
The play and, by extension, the title could have been much shorter without losing any entertainment value. The two acts are more or less self-contained units — with minor interaction between the two — each of which could easily have stood alone as a satisfying one-act.
Act I, about a successful inventor who invites escorts up to his modest New York apartment to reenact failed moments in his life but with better results, is humorous, touching and romantic. Jaret Sacrey and Jessica Moreno are delightful in the roles of the mismatched pair finding out they have more in common than either had originally imagined.
Act II, consisting of the second 60% of the title characters, takes place on the same night and at the same time as Act I, one floor above, as a photographer confronts her boyfriend over his affair, sanctioned by her. It is decidedly more cynical, with characters that are purposely hard to like or root for. Actors Jenni Halina, Jeffrey Cannata and particularly Isadora Goreshter are also very good.
Playwright Matt Morillo has written fresh, funny, authentic dialogue by realistic characters. And although it is not perfect, any deficiencies in the script are more than made up for by his strong direction and a talented cast. Although the play, in essence a double feature, runs about two and a half hours, it never lags.
Special kudos to set designer Dan Mailley for creating two separate apartments in the same space, transforming from one to another during intermission.
The Inventor, The Escort, The Photographer, Her Boyfriend and His Girlfriend plays on June 22 at 8 pm, June 23 at 8 pm, June 24 at 7 pm.
by Tracey Paleo~
In a powerful autobiographical journey for the stage, Ben Moroski presents This Vicious Minute, a no restraints, straight-shooting confession of himself as a cutter, where he neither makes apologies nor asks for forgiveness.
Moroski opens up this wildly fascinating tale, about his life as a genuinely happy, hormonal teenage boy who finds Jesus. However, as he is strictly, morally mentored into not choosing to give in to his normal impulses amongst other things in the milieu of “not sinning,” the audience bears witness to overwhelming addiction on a grand scale from the simplest of beginnings. Where guilt about succumbing to the honest urges of a regular kid is too much to handle, he alleviates anxiety by cutting, as a reminder to never do it again. But he does. And the self-mutilation evolves for years, passing through phases of soothing ultra-high to pure fun to sexual excitement and manipulation of his intimate relationships, under the cover of the all-American, straight-A-student, football jock, and eventual brilliant stage actor until the violent compulsion of his secrets gets him into more than just trouble.
Utterly raw, compelling, and, most of all, intense, This Vicious Minute is a heavy-hitting story that, NEEDS to be experienced.
This Vicious Minute Plays at Elephant Stages, 1076 Lillian Way, for 2 More Performances – Tuesday, June 19 @ 10:30 pm and Sunday, June 24 @ 4:00 pm