A large and raucous crowd turned up for the 14/48 festival Friday night. They were doing the wave before the show. It's a football cheer, but we cut them some slack.
There was a lot of electricity in the air and we were not disappointed, with several truly entertaining plays and something to like about all of them.
Right out of the chute The Ticket by La' Chris Jordan and directed by Tina La Plant, was the hilarious tale of a redneck family that wins $10 grand in the lottery, only to burn the ticket in the fireplace, thanks to a rickety chair. There were a lot of laughs in the script, and the fire--an uncredited soul under the stage with some nifty flaming gloves--was inspired. That's Kaleb Hagen-Kerr at right trying to save the ticket dumped into the flames by Matthew Middleton. (We ripped off these great Auston James photos from the 14/48 blog. Go see more of 'em.)
The four words a theater reviewer needs to know are "Hana Lass kicks ass." Lass was great in David Schmader's Empty Nest, a reverse-terrorism tale in which a born-again Christian family sends their daughter (Lass) off to blow up some bad people. Lyssa Browne and Andrew McMasters were great, too.
Third Runner Up featured three of the foxiest beauty queens you'd never want to see: David Hogan, Ashley Bagwell, and Alexander Samuels in drag. They burn up real good, and fire "man" Clara Rodriguez makes off with the tiara.
Fire Sleep With Me was Weisenheimer's second favorite play of the night, after The Ticket. Scotto Moore's play, directed by Liam Cole, featured two couples off on their annual adventure vacation. Alyson Scadron-Branner's character isn't excited by the fire-walking event, and suggests a spouse swap instead. Co-stars Ray Tagavilla, David Goldstein, and Jen Moon are fabulous. RayTag is especially brilliant with his subtle wit and great timing. The twist in the swap is that the same-sex partners pair up. In the photo at left Moon (left) and Scadron-Branner head for their happy ending.
Keira McDonald was wonderfully comical as an Ike voter hanging out in a beatnik joint in Total Emancipation of the Human Personality.
The festival wraps up tonight with seven plays on the theme "over the rainbow." It's sure to be great. Be there!
By the way, last week we dissed both plays written by Paul Mullin. But looking back at our posts about August's festival last year, I saw that Mullin wrote two of our favorites: Sharing Witness and Just Drink It. Interesting. Maybe we should have blamed the directors!