Saturday, November 04, 2006

Review: The Mystery of Irma Vep

We dropped by the Curtain Call Theater to see their presentation of The Mystery of Irma Vep by the late Charles Ludlam. As expected, it was a good chuckle with a few guffaws. All the parts are played by the two actors, Aaron Holbritter and Kris Anderson -- which becomes part of the humor, with characters alluding to the necessary absence of other characters. It's a wild tale of vampires, werewolves, mummies and other gothic trappings, like a mix of Rebecca, Laura, and a little Wuthering Heights. The script is full of bad puns, salacious hints and wild turns. The two actors made the most of their widely disparate body types, Holbritter in particular showing great zeal for the transformation between the rough Nicodemus and the delicate flower, Lady Enid. The appreciative audience really fueled the energy -- the first row in particular howling with laughter, so much so that Jane the Housekeeper (Anderson) threw a sprig of "wolfsbane" to the woman who was laughing so hard in the first row. Before this, the shrieks of laughter had their effect on bringing on a fit of corpsing that never quite left the second half of the play. Which was all right -- the second half being where the script turned more Martin & Lewis than gothic, despite its setting in an Egyptian crypt.

During the interval we went downstairs to the cafe. While we were able to resist the decadent looking desserts (oh that cake looked good!) we did indulge in coffee and hot chocolate while looking through the art exhibit. For a small place, the Curtain Call Theater has a lot packed inside. We'll be back.

The program also had an ad for the Saratoga Springs theater company, Home Made Theater which will be doing a version of Alice in Wonderland, which I need to mention to my students, as well as Wit and I Hate Hamlet. More fun coming in regional theater!

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