Summary: Danton Spina deftly directs a variety of short plays about ‘the end’ of something. The results are a night of fast-paced, entertaining blackbox theater.
Disclaimer: No rating because I’m too close to the source material– I wrote one of the plays and have been involved in two of the others, so my opinions simply feel too biased.
“Time Flies” by David Ives
- Nice energy
- Not sure what some of the set was for
- Lots of puns… probably too many.
- Great little meditation on the brevity of our lives
“If You Were the Last Man…” by Alex Coulombe
- Tonally different from how I wrote it
- The actress playing Sarah was a solid straight-man to the wackiness of Lester.
- In some ways I enjoyed the ‘high-energy athlete’ version of Lester, but it makes the dialogue about how antisocial he is ring untrue.
- There was no beeping… so I’m sure that aspect of Lester’s personality didn’t make sense. If they didn’t want to deal with sound cues, I’m curious why there wasn’t at least the speaking of ‘beep beep’
- Since they did go with a much more energetic take on the show than what I wrote, I did like the way they built up and bounced off each other, culminating in a really fun ‘GOD DAMMIT LESTER!’ from Sarah.
- Fun but sudden ending– kind of felt like the ending of an SNL skit that ran out of steam (no pun intended)
Variations on the Death of Trotsky by David Ives
- Although Mrs. Trotsky will always be Nate Chesley for me, Julia Terruso was lovely.
- I forgot how much David Ives loves puns… man, so many puns. I suppose those are more fun when you’re a kid.
- Great accent for Trotsky.
- Great comic timing, especially for all of the deaths.
- I like the gargantuan size of the mountain climber’s axe.
“Forsaken Cubicle” by Danton Spina
- Very Mad-Men-esque imagery and moments (there seemed to be a replicate Peggy Olsen presentation template there)
- There’s a fun ‘what’s going on’ puzzle dynamic through most of the show, but I think at a certain point there needs to be more hints at what’s happening
- I understand the ‘nostalgia drug’ thing in retrospect, but I think there’s too few hints at it within the show itself.
- The ending happens a little too quickly so there’s not a chance to process it.
“The Zombie Aesthete” by Alex Dremann
- Without a doubt the highlight of the evening
- Even more entertaining than the production I saw Danton act in a few years ago
- Stunning stage debut by Lizzy Henwood Spina– perfect listless stare and broken walk
- Entrance by the other zombie couple is perfect– door slams open and they’re GRARRRHHHGG!!!
- The brains they eat really do look like brains… ugh. Well done!
Danton Spina gives his thoughts on the full run of the show here. Liz, Morgan, and I were there for opening night. I wish I could have hung out longer after the show and talked with the cast, but I had to book it out of there to get back on a train to NYC for my 8 AM flight out of JFK to San Francisco for the Opera America conference!