musicals and operas · robot teammate & the accidental party · Ages 10+ · United States of America

family friendly world premiere
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June 24, 2015

My overall impression

Timeheart, a sci-fi musical now playing at the L.A. Fringe, is goofy, funky, and fun. The first scripted production by the Robot Teammate & The Accidental Party musical improv troupe, what the show lacks in dramatic scope and emotion it makes up in zaniness.

Hero Bruce Greenstreet (played spot-on by Dave Reynolds) is a central casting shlub who invents a time machine that inadvertently destroys the Earth. With the help of time-traveling nutty professor (a manic Chris Bramante), Bruce takes on the bad guy (Miles Crosman in high school leading-man glory), wins the girl (a lovely Molly Dworsky) and undoes some of the damage he caused by inventing the damn thing in the first place.

The key to all this is a woman called Timeheart (played by the ethereal Kat Primeau) who, as the “mythic center of spacetime,” is the wizard that we need to meet to save what remains of the universe.

One of the thrills of watching improv is the pressure that the actors are put under to come up with zippy one-liners and plot twists on the spot. In a book musical, that pressure isn’t there, and Timeheart’s one-liners and twists don’t really contribute to the story that the audience is wanting to fall in love with.

It wasn’t until halfway through Timeheart, when the hero and the girl sing a song about being stuck with each other, that the show’s emotional heart comes to life, and the audience is transformed from an improv audience to a Broadway musical audience. Kudos to musical director Sam Johnides for this number, and his tuneful work throughout the production.
With the heart of Timeheart now beating, the show’s colorful costumes, sci-fi-movie cliches, and double-crossing characters (played to the hilt by Bryan Cain and Nikki Muller) make more sense, even though the “written by improv committee” feeling persists.

Reviewed for Discover Hollywood Magazine by Bill Garry

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