Spirits to Enforce
Taking a classic and super-sizing it!
|Abraham Werewolf presents|
|Spirits to Enforce|
Review by Katy Walsh
Q: What could superheroes, Shakespeare, and telethons possibly have in common?
A: The Tempest
Abraham Werewolf presents Spirits to Enforce. In Fathom, a group of actors are trying to raise funds for their production of “The Tempest.” The ensemble dials for dollars during a telethon. No one is interested. The group decides to drop their secret identities and pimp themselves out as their superhero selves. Now, folks are interested but not in the play. Callers want the Fathom Town Enforcers to get off the line and save the city. Will the superheroes quit their day job for the theatre? And why are they so transfixed on this play? Spirits to Enforce is a telethon for a play that is the reality of the play over time. Right?! So, damn clever!
Playwright Mickle Maher has taken a classic and super-sized it. Maher uses Shakespeare’s story as the foundation. He creates superheroes that are the personas of aspects of “The Tempest.” The Ocean, The Page, The Snow Heavy Branch are not your Marvel comic book characters. They are Shakespearean creations overgrown on steroids. The premise is ingenious. The dialogue is hysterical. And under the tight direction of Gus Menary, the cast is super times twelve.
The dozen cast members are seated in a two-tier phone bank. Their areas are clad with personal artifacts. Throughout the show, they continue making calls. Menary effectively paces the series of one-sided conversations to optimize the humor. The entire ensemble has moments of well-delivered lines as jokes and verse. The hilarious standouts among the supers are Erin Haddock (Ocean) and Scott Ray Merchant (Tune). The animated Haddock and Merchant have particularly amusing phone skills. Another dynamic duo is Joel Kim Booster (Fragrance) and Brian Rad (Pleaser) zinging lines and forming alliances. For a big, talented cast in such a stagnant, small space, these Enforcers effectively bond together, using their combined muscle to successfully showcase individuals as well as the collective fraternity. Extraordinary!
This show is amazing! It’s like “The Tempest” fell into a vat of toxic waste and now has the power to make us laugh… really hard. Spirits to Enforce is art to enchant!
Spirits to Enforce continues through September 29th at Studio BE, 3110 N. Sheffield (map), with performances Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm. Tickets are $5-$15, and are available at the door or online through Herokuapp.com (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at AbrahamWerewolf.com. (Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission)
Lauren Fisher (Donna Adams, The Silhouette); Lauren Sivak (Diana Blake, The Bad Map); Joel Kim Booster (Oliver Kendall, Fragrance Fellow); Brian Rad (Craig Cale, The Pleaser); Lucy Hancock (Susan Tanner, Memory Lass); AJ Ware (Cecily Gray, The Page); Blake M. Russell (Emory Lawson, Ariel); Erin Haddock (Rebecca Lloyd, The Ocean); Chris Chmelik (Wayne Simon, The Untangler); Alberto Mendoza (Dale Clark, The Intoxicator); Scott Ray Merchant (Randell James, The Tune); Matt Hooks (Brad Allen, The Snow Heavy Branch)
behind the scenes
Gus Menary (director); Matt Hooks (producer); William Bishop (dramaturg); Bobby Huggins (stage manager); Chase Corman (lighting, set design); Amy Fries (costumes); Jen L’amour Dorman, Marissa L’amour Dorman (graphics); Broad Shoulder Productions (video)