Review by anonymousJune 16, 2022 certified reviewer
What I liked
I loved the music, transitions, writing, and an overwhelming majority of the acting. The simplicity of the set, staging, and lighting served the show tremendously. Everything flowed; during every transition I was left wondering what would happen next. Excellent storytelling. I believe Idrees stole the show opening night. His energy, intensity, awareness of when to soften, and when to utilize his capacity for volume exemplify how dynamic this show can be. Encourage all to exist in this world with the same grandiosity. Jen was tremendous in her physical vocabulary, especially when telling the story of the bird on her finger. Her movement around the stage in general was very fluid and driven. And she was the scariest of the antagonists. Especially the image of placing her co-workers hand in the fryer. Jerry’s vulnerability gets people to laugh a lot and is such a beautiful crux of the plot. His transitions into the dark lord, or when he’s talking to the little girl, are excellent. In parallel, Chaz’s boyishness made me believe he was really a virgin. His youthful energy and speed of thought helped the show clip along beautifully.
What I didn't like
In the more personal moments, I think Jerry could afford to be more conscientious of the back row of the audience. I was sitting in the front, and at times had trouble hearing. Jen, Chaz, and Jerry, could also do well to play up the comedy a bit. I wondered to what extent their characters are aware of their own wit? And if they are, I think it should be a big deal because they use it so frequently. It’ll sell the jokes more. At times I felt like the audience didn’t know if it was okay to laugh. It would be great if the actors gave us more permission. Really sell those jokes because they’re so well written. I think this could be done through a combination of volume, pace, and inflection. Energize those punch lines! At times when jokes would come, we would lose volume from the actors, almost like they were afraid to commit, or perhaps it’s a breath issue. Somewhat contrastingly, Chaz could do well to dial back a bit if Jerry is under him in volume; otherwise we get the sense that we’re watching actors perform, instead of two people having the same conversation. Usually people match each other. I know he’s being a good actor by still projecting, but if he blows Jerry out, it’s a little odd. They need to find a happy place together for that acoustic sweet spot. Don’t let the size of the space fool you. It’s not an echo chamber, and sound does not travel well in that space when filled with bodies. Have them think of the sound traveling in an arch, up and over the back row so that it hits the back wall and comes back to the stage. Jerry should be really careful not to strain his vocal chords when doing the demon voice. Too much tension can cause serious damage! Luckily it’s not a ton of runs, but if it was, more difficult to pull off.
Lastly, I think Chaz could take the Stockholm syndrome even farther. Throughout the play he got some chuckles because the lines were funny, and so was his timing in delivery, but he could really have the crowd rolling if he REALLY fell in love with Jerry more obsessively and with more vulnerability. Not sure what that looks like, but food for thought. At the end of the day it’s a job well done from everyone, especially given the circumstances you’ve all faced as far as missing a preview show, and last minute tech guy trouble. Give yourselves a pat on the back. Louder, faster, funnier will set this show on fire. You are right on the precipice of a show that will be knocking people’s socks off.
My overall impression
Bloody great wit, if you catch my drift!
A fantastic show for the whole cult!!
Two thumbs up from the Dark Lord himself!!!