11.08.2009

Leave It to Beverly / DA! Theater Collective : 4 of 5

This is a somewhat biased review, since the playwright and director Kirk German is my pal and bandmate in the Greatest American Heroes, but I have to say that it was fantastic to see Kirk display his talents in yet another way via DA! Theater Collective's production of Leave It to Beverly! While on the surface this play is a hilarious spoof of classic TV sitcoms like Donna Reed and I Dream of Jeannie, it also carries several interesting messages about gender roles and the effort to live a unique and genuine life in general. Gags that begin as funny (like ubiquitous canned laughter) sometimes become suddenly creepy, and the tension between humor and uneasiness really draws the audience into the story! But without over analyzing things, Leave It to Beverly is definitely a comedy, and every element from the incredible cast (who dance as well as act!) to the fantastic sets (which include special effects like magical kitchen utensils and surprise portals for characters' heads to poke through) all add to the hilarity. There are so many fun references to TV and other entertainment mixed into the story, ranging from Six Million Dollar Man sound effects to a brilliant use of Mickey Mouse Club ears (which are said to render the wearer "virtually brainless", which I loved)! It's obvious that Kirk loves this source material and found a way to pay tribute to it while expressing himself as a wonderful playwright. I was lucky enough to see the play on cast party night, and it was fun to play with the Greatest American Heroes right there on stage with a group of folks who had a special affection for TV show themes. It was a fantastic evening, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next production featuring my pal Kirk!

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