Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kamikaze II--Occam's Razor

Here we are, mid-week between 14/48 weekends, one of the great festival seasons of the year. In about 34 hours the all-virgins will gather to pick a theme for playwrights to tackle for Friday night's shows. In the meantime, let's look back on Saturday's shows in 14/48 Kamikaze, which capped an outstanding weekend of world-premiere one-act plays.

We explained the Kamikaze concept in our post about Friday's shows. Festival co-founder Jodi-Paul Wooster explained during the intro speech Saturday that picking participant roles at random wasn't done to make 14/48 harder--they could have done that by making the time frame shorter or releasing wild animals into the theater. Instead, the intent is to break down the hierarchy and put all of the artists on equal footing as collaborators creating theater.

It sounds nutty, but it really works, and last weekend was one of the strongest 14/48s in recent memory.

Allison Strickland prepares for her role in "Boungiorno,
Principessa!" She played a marionette, which is nearly
as creepy as a clown. 14/48 photo by Ian Johnston of
Dangerpants Photography.
Saturday's theme was "Occam's Razor." "Cut Your Teeth" was probably my favorite play of the night. Written by Darian Lindle and directed by Kathy Hsieh, the play was hot and erotic, performed by Cole Hornaday and Jonah Von Spreecken in a dentist's office. Where did they get that vintage dental equipment? Rinse, please. Chris Haddad's "Journey to 1983" directed by Lyam White was a time-travel tale of a relationship between dad and daughter that was most touching. "An Unquiet Mind" by Dawson Nichols and directed by Susanna Burney featured a schlump (played by Troy Lund) who gets no respect, even from inanimate objects in his home, which all talk. "Coming Soon to a Theater Near You" by Ashley Bagwell, directed by Aimée Bruneau, featured a delightfully bitchy interviewer (Sam Hagen) talking with Sly Stallone (Wayne Rawley) and Christopher Walken (Troy Fischnaller) about their upcoming action flick. You've got to love a play then ends with flying waffles.

The second act was a little on the creepy side. "Beautiful, Brains, Tinder" by Zoey Cane Belyea, directed by Mark Fullerton, featured a love triangle in the woods, but the hypotenuse seems pretty clueless about it. The wiener fight was a great action sequence. Shane Ragan got to improvise and riff on the Mariners in "The Space Between" (by Mik Kuhlman, directed by Joe Zavadil) while taking the most complicated route to Karen Jo Fairbrook's side. The evening closed with "Bongiorno, Principessa!" by Beth Peterson and directed by Brandon Felker, with pervy puppeteer Tim Moore and sadistic puppeteer Alyson Scadron Branner pulling the strings on three creepy, violent, and delicate marionettes (Joanna Horowitz, Pamala Mijatov, and Allison Strickland.) I think that marionettes are second only to clowns in creepiness. I was always wigged out by those TV shows like "Supercar" and "Thunderbirds." 

The 14/48 band is no more, but "The Gillettes" really rocked it Saturday night.

We can't wait for the all-virgins weekend with shows Friday and Saturday nights at the Erickson Theatre Off Broadway. As always, there's a great lineup of artists ready to create theater in a pressure cooker. Tickets here. Don't miss the fun!

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