Review: Triassic Parq (Circle Theatre)

| July 24, 2017

Erin Daly stars as T-Rex 1 in Triassic Parq, Circle Theatre            
      

Triassic Parq

By Marshall Pailet (music, book, lyrics), 
  Bryce Norbitz & Steve Wargo (book, lyrics)
at Heartland Studio, 7016 N. Glenwood (map)
thru Aug 13  |  tix: $28  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets    
     


    
  

Funny, irreverent remount is 90-minutes of pure enjoyment

  

Veronica Garza, Jacob Richard Axelson, Caitlin Boho, Patrick Stengle, Parker Guidry, Erin Daly, and Marissa Druzbanski

    
Circle Theatre presents
    
Triassic Parq

Review by Lauren Whalen

In a nutshell, Triassic Parq is “Jurassic Park” (as the opening song proclaims, “we don’t want to get sued!”) from the perspective of the dinosaurs who eventually escape their quarters and turn a dream theme park into a disaster. All of the dinosaurs are genetically engineered to be female, so when T-Rex 2 (Veronica Garza, the sole new cast member and perhaps the strongest) inexplicably finds herself with a third…appendage, all hell Parker Guidry and Marissa Druzbanski, Erin Daly, Jacob Richard Axelson, and Veronica Garzabreaks loose. In the meantime, the Velociraptor of Innocence (Parker Guidry) ponders what it means to grow up, T-Rex 1/Kaitlyn (Erin Daly) mourns the loss of her best friend and wonders if the relationship could be something more, and Pianosaurus (Justin Harner) just wants to be part of the gang despite countless loud and profanity-laden rejections.

Triassic Parq is 90 fast-paced minutes of pure enjoyment, with smart direction by Tommy Bullington and Nicholas Reinhart, and Reinhart’s spot-on, show choir-parody choreography. Jimmy Jagos’ set design maximizes the small Heartland Studio with an epic movie feel, and Kat Sass’ costumes are elaborate and colorful.

A cast with killer voices and moves, as well as impeccable comic timing, is essential for a show like Triassic Parq. These performers do not disappoint: though I didn’t see Circle Theatre’s original production, I can see why most of the original cast would want to return. Everyone works incredibly well together and shines in solo moments. Jacob Richard Axelson is a fierce, fabulous Velociraptor of Faith, and Guidry appropriately naïve and diva-esque. Caitlin Boho opens the show with a bang, as the musical’s lone human. Though Patrick Stengle has no dialogue, his Mime-a-saurus is the comic highlight of the show, and Daly, as always, is a force to be reckoned with and a treat to watch. Marissa Druzbanski is a powerfully hilarious Velociraptor of Science, and Garza (whose Jeff Award-winning dual role in Tonya & Nancy: A Rock Opera was perhaps my favorite performance of 2016) delivers yet another star-making performance, poking fun at toxic masculinity while sporting a glittering phallus.

Veronica Garza and Erin Daly star as T-Rexes in Triassic Parq, Circle TheatreVeronica Garza and Parker Guidry star as T-Rex 2 and Velociraptor of Innocence in Triassic Parq Jacob Richard Axelson stars as  Velociraptor of Faith in Triassic Parq, Circle TheatreErin Daly stars as T-Rex 1 in Triassic Parq, Circle Theatre Parker Guidry stars as Velociraptor of Innocence in Triassic Parq, Circle TheatreJacob Richard Axelson and Parker Guidry star as Velociraptors of Faith and Innocence in Triassic Parq, Circle Theatre

Triassic Parq first appeared at the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival, where it won Best Overall Musical/Production. After an off-Broadway run in 2012, the show was slightly rewritten and ran in Southern California, where it won three more awards. It’s easy to see why: Triassic Parq is both unique (there’s only one human character who appears sporadically, the rest are pure dino) and familiar (originally a best-selling novel by Michael Crichton, “Jurassic Park” has spawned a movie franchise and a reboot, the sequel to which just wrapped filming). The musical’s book and score explore faith vs. science, and how the two can work for and against one another, in a lighthearted manner with a metric ton of sexual innuendoes in between. Again, a few of the gags are questionable or in poor taste – does a white woman really need to play a character named Morgan Freeman? – but overall, Triassic Parq is an excellent remount, a quick and dirty 90 minutes of pure entertainment.

  
Rating: ★★★½
  

Triassic Parq continues through August 13th at Heartland Studio, 7016 N. Glenwood (map), with performances Thursdays-Fridays 8pm, Saturdays 2:30pm & 8pm, Sundays 2:30pm.  Tickets are $28, and are available by phone (773-453-5272) or online through BrownPaperTickets.com (check for availability of half-price tickets). More information at CircleTheatreChicago.org(Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission)

Caitlin Boho stars as Morgan Freeman in Triassic Parq, Circle Theatre

Photos by Cody Jolly Photography


  

artists

cast

Jacob Richard Axelson (Velociraptor of Faith), Caitlin Boho (Morgan Freeman), Erin Daly (T-Rex 1, Kaitlyn), Marissa Druzbanski (Velociraptor of Science), Veronica Garza (T-Rex 2), Parker Guidry (Velociraptor of Innocence), Justin Harner (Pianosaurus), Patrick Stengle (Mime-a-saurus), Frankie Leo Bennett, Halli Morgan (understudies)

band

Justin Harner (Piano), Connor Zagrans (Drums), Jeremiah Benham (Guitar), John Cockerill (Sub-a-Saurus, August 3-7)

behind the scenes

Tommy Bullington (co-director), Nicholas Reinhart (co-directors, choreographer), Aaron Benham (music director), Andrew C. Donnelly (production stage manager), Jimmy Jagos (scenic design), Erik S. Barry (lighting design), Kat Sass (costume design), Kenneth Long (sound design), Greg Pinsoneault (puppet & properties design), Marissa Druzbanski (dance captain), Alma Beldenova, Jimmy Jagos (charge artists), Tracey Burbank (master electrician), Erin Daly (casting director), Bobby Arnold (producer), Cody Jolly (photos)

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Category: 2017 Reviews, Circle Theatre, Extensions-Remounts, Heartland Studio Theatre, Lauren Whalen, Musical, Parody

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