Friday, April 24, 2015

Review of Porchlight Music Theatre's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The book was by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. The music and lyrics were by Stephen Sondheim and it was directed by Michael Weber. The music director was Linda Madonia and it was choreographed by Brenda Didier. It was about a guy named Pseudolus (Bill Larkin) who was a slave and he was trying to help out his master Senex's (Will Clinger) son, Hero (Miles Blim) have the girl he wants, Philia (Sarah Lynn Robinson). He is helping because Hero says Pseudolus can be free if he gets him this girl. But that doesn't go very well, because his mom (Caron Buinis) and dad don't want Hero to know any girls and Philia has already been bought by a big-time soldier, Miles Gloriosus (Greg Zawada). This was the funniest thing that ever happened on the way to the Forum! I laughed so hard that I was crying. It wasn't intellectual humor; it was whatever-the-heck-you-want humor where if it was random and weird and hilarious, it is in the show!

I loved how it started. When Prologus (Larkin) was singing "Comedy Tonight" and he said "Tragedy tomorrow" then like Hamlet (Blim) and Willy Loman (Clinger) and Julius Caesar (Zawada) and probably Medea (Buinis) came out and they all started speaking at once and there was dramatic movie music. And I thought that was very hilarious. That was the first time I laughed and that was only a minute in! Prologus also played Pseudolus, and he said "Pseudolus is one of my favorite characters and I'm playing him" as the robe was ripped off and they took off his wig and then he looked like Pseudolus. I thought that was super awesome and cool.

There were two songs called "Lovely," and they were the same song but they were sung by very different people. The first time they sung it, it was sung by Hero to Philia and Philia to herself and Philia to Hero. It is to show how much they love each other and they will never leave each other's side. I think it was a nice, pretty song. But it was also pretty funny because it showed how dippy Philia is. She is pretty and seems like a nice person, but she is not the brightest of all women. Like when she was talking to Pseudolus and she was like, "Three. That's one plus...two...right?" And then there is a very awkward silence and Pseudolus is just like, "Yes." The second time they sing "Lovely" it is Pseudolus to Hysterium (Matt Crowle), another slave. And he is singing the song to him because Hysterium thinks that he is ugly dressed like a girl. And then this amazing smile comes over Hysterium's face and he just goes from "I'm dreaming of this" to just full-on big smile. It was hilarious.

The choruses both seemed to have really big roles. Either they had big dance sequences, like the courtesans (Neala Barron, Ariana Cappuccitti, Erica Evans, Britt-Marie Sivertsen) or they played a lot of different roles, like the Proteans (Jason Grimm, Andrew Lund, and Jaymes Osborne). I loved the dance scenes where the different courtesans came out and were like, "You should choose me." And then Hero would shake his head, and after like three, Pseudolus was like, "What!" and just couldn't believe that none of these were the one Hero wanted because they were all so amazing. Marcus Lycus (Lorenzo Rush, Jr.) who was in charge of all the courtesans was very very funny. He did a lot of crazy stuff and he seemed not that bright either because he believed there was a deadly smiling plague in Crete. He got so scared, it was super funny. The proteans were so funny when they were the soldiers because they would come to the house and say Miles Gloriosus is almost here, and then they would do cheerleader moves. And I also really liked when they were following around Pseudolus and Miles said, follow his every move and so they did. And then Pseudolus decided to do some crazy weird cheesy moves, and they would do the same things. There were scenes when they would walk through following Pseudolus and dancing like he was. And when they were the eunuchs, and they were all supposed to lead the ladies home, they would go "Meep meep." So they were basically Beaker eunuchs.

Erronius (Anthony Whitaker) was a very old man who had been searching for his children who had been stolen by pirates. He had come back from that adventure and heard the voice of his neighbor inside of his house so Pseudolus tells him that his house is haunted and says he will have to walk around the seven hills seven times...slowly. It made me laugh so much when Erronius came around each time and would say, "First time around!" or "Third time around!" and would just smile and nod at people politely while shuffling slowly across the stage. SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't seen the play skip the rest of the paragraph. If you have seen the play keep reading. This is what I think Miles Gloriosus is thinking when he finds out who his sister and his father are: "I have so much swagger that this girl I bought turned out to be my sister."

People who would like this show are people who like comedy tonight, not-good-at-math courtesans, and Beaker eunuchs. I think people should definitely definitely go see this show. I laughed so much because it was so funny! I loved it!

Photos: Anthony LaPenna

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Review of Nothing Without a Company's Down the Moonlit Path

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Down the Moonlit Path. It was created and directed by Rachel Staelens. The stories were adapted by Tate A Geborkoff. It was about a bunch of different stories from different cultures all put together in one play. People played many different parts and you would wander around and see all of them. There were two different tracks and they would each help you understand different stories. I think it must have been hard for the actors to run around and know what story would be next and what costume they had to get into. I had fun at this show. I thought the stories seemed really cool.

"The Storks and The Night Owl" was my favorite story. It was all about these two guys, Harun (Romeo Green) and his Vizier (Reginald Vaughn), who were very rich but they were also very funny. They were turned into storks by this evil medicine guy (Franco Steeves) and the medicine guy became the ruler. They want to be storks for a little bit, because they want to speak to animals, but they aren't supposed to laugh, but then they do because they hear and see something funny: this romantic conversation between two storks. That makes them forget the magic word that would make them turn back into humans. And then they meet an owl (Taylor Dariarow) who is trapped in a cage by the same evil medicine guy. There is a little closet that you basically go into where the owl is hiding and the storks find her. That was funny because it was so close and the owl just jumped out and they started arguing and were so exasperated. When they were arguing about who was going to marry the owl, they reminded me of the Marx Brothers in Animal Crackers when they are saying "The fish, the flesh, the flash" and trying to take down the painting. I really loved their beak hats (designed by Lolly Extract) because you still see they are human, but they were hilarious because they were so giant. And whenever they tried to talk close to each other they would sometimes get a beak in the face. I won't give away the ending because it was so funny and good!

I really liked the show, except I had a one problem. This was a preview, so they may have fixed some of this. I felt like sometimes you missed parts of the stories because you would be led away from them. I felt like it was hard for you to wander around and see all the stories because some scenes they did twice and some scenes they didn't. You felt like you didn't have to leave your group to go on another path because your guide would take you there eventually, but that wasn't always true but sometimes it was. They could solve this problem by either doing one track and have both guides (Emily Duke and Mari DeOleo) on the one track, because I thought they were both fun and useful. Or you could have the groups meet up more often to watch the same scene. If you have time, then you could see it twice, and then you could understand it better, but that really isn't an option for me right now because I'm so busy with other reviews.

"Hans, Who Made the Princess Laugh" is a good example of when everyone on both tracks knew what was going on in the story. It started out with a bunch of people just trying to show off their talents to impress the princess (Nora Lise Ulrey) so they could marry her. Each group saw the first part and it wasn't exactly the same because one of the suitors was from the audience, but you still got the beginning of the story and all of the plot. I liked the audience participation and I also liked how it wasn't some big dangerous quest for a girl but just to make her laugh. Some of the dukes and lords coming to woo her were like pop singers. They sang one of their more famous songs, and then the princess or the king (Steeves) would just wave them away and they would be like, "Why don't I get her. I'm such a famous pop star." I think the princess did a really good job not cracking up, because I certainly was. What made her laugh at the end was how almost everyone in the audience and the actors came together to form a big conga line behind Hans (Dāvon Roberts). And then everyone started getting attached to this goose that was a magical goose that you got stuck to if you touched it. This goose must have been very attractive because who would just want to randomly touch a random goose?! I liked this scene so much because you felt like you were part of a story.

People who would like this show are people who like Marx Brothers storks, taking cool paths through stories, and attractive geese. I think that kids would like it a lot if they don't get scared easily and I think adults would also really like it because it is fun for everyone. I think that people should definitely go see this show. I enjoyed it a lot!

Photo: Kriss Abigail

Monday, April 20, 2015

Review of Promethean Theatre Ensemble's Tiger at the Gates

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Tiger at the Gates. It was by Jean Giraudoux and it was translated by Christopher Fry. It was directed by John Arthur Lewis. It was about what happened just before the Trojan War and you see how the different relationships developed over this time and what people lost. This play is interested in how war affects us and about how stupid the reasons are for going to war. I thought that this was a great show because it looked at the different ways that people think about war.

The relationships are romantic, like between Hector (Jared Dennis) and Andromache (Heather Smith) and Paris (Nick Savin) and Helen (Michelle M. Oliver). At the beginning of the play, the romantic relationships are the saddest because if you know a lot about the Trojan War you know who dies and that is sad because you see how much Hector and Andromache love each other and they don't want the war because Andromache is going to have a baby. Helen and Paris I think have the least good relationship because it doesn't seem like Helen really loves Paris. It seems like she loves herself more than Paris. There are also family relationships which are pretty sad, like Hector and Cassandra (Jamie Bragg) and Paris and Polyxene (Avery Moss) and Troilus (Spenser Davis) and their parents Hecuba (Elaine Carlson) and Priam (Jerry Bloom). Basically this entire show is all one big family. The family relationship changes because at the beginning they are all happy because one war ended. But then as it moves on they get sadder and sadder but then there is a speck of hope that there will be no war. As they think the war is about to start, they all have a meeting about how they can get through it together. And I found it very sad when they are all talking and they realize that they may not see each other again. There are also friendships like between the Mathematician (Brian J. Hurst) and Demokos the poet (Brendan Hutt). And Hector and Ulysses (David F. Meldman) seem like they could be friends, but they aren't because a certain poet lied about who hurt him. The person who really hurt the poet was really Ajax (Christopher Marcum). And I think that Hector seems like the best friend in this show because he is always truthful and doesn't want anyone to get hurt.

This war happens all over one lady, Helen. But she is more an excuse. The people who want the war most are the people who have the least to do with it, like the Mathematician and Demokos. And they want the war because they find it exciting and they don't have to fight. And I find that maddening because people are going out there and risking their lives, but the poet and the mathematician are the ones who are just going to sit there and think about it instead of actually going out to help them. They just are yelling battle cries to start a war that eventually no one will want. It really made me mad about people who enjoy war and watching people suffer and die.

This is a very sad play, but there was one funny scene where the poet and mathematician were trying to write a song about how awesome the Trojans are. And they are saying, "We need some insults" so they can yell them before they kill other people because they thought, "We are the only people who don't yell insults before we kill. And Hecuba made a bunch of really good mockeries. And you would usually think a refined queen would not be insulting but in this case she is and that made her even more awesome. That scene also showed how Hecuba was a sassy person. It made you love her even more because she is one of the sane people.

People who would like this show are people who like good ideas about war, standing up for peace, and sassy queens. I think people should definitely go see this show. I feel that it made a lot of very meaningful points and I really liked it.

Photos: TCMcG Photography

Friday, April 17, 2015

Review of Griffin Theatre Company's Balm in Gilead

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Balm in Gilead. It was by Lanford Wilson and it was directed by Jonathan Berry. It was about this guy named Joe (Japhet Balaban) who seems to have a pretty tough life and his number one problem is that Chuckles who is his boss is getting mad about how little drugs he is selling. He kind of falls in love with this girl Darlene (Ashleigh Lathrop) who is very sweet and who thinks that she is going to have to become a prostitute. This is a show about poverty, not really knowing if you love someone, and how drugs hurt people and make them do stuff they wouldn't normally want to do. I think that this is a really great show because it is very eye-opening about what people in poverty are forced to do.

This play is different from other shows because most of the time at the beginning you have to look around and see what you are supposed to pay attention to because everyone is talking at once. You really have to open your ears and eyes. Then sometimes the junkies that are outside of the coffee shop--Dopey (Morgan Maher), Blake (Chris Chmelik), and Ernesto (Diego Colon)--help you by freezing the picture or by telling you, "This is what you should be looking at." So then you can understand the story better. I think that this is a pretty realistic show because in a coffee shop you actually hear people overlapping talking, but then it is also not super realistic because the junkies wouldn't tell you, "Look at this. This is going to be important to the story." The characters all have a different part of the story and they are not all connected. They would all be talking about different things and you would get to know the people like you would get know people just by hearing them in a coffee shop, but the thing is in this play you get to know them over the course of three days but you don't get to know them super well. You get to have this little bit of time with them. You get to be basically in the coffee shop in their lives for just a little bit. There are some that you get to know way better than this, like Darlene, Ann (Cyd Blakewell), and Joe.

There is a love triangle between Judy (Laura Lapidus), Terry (Havalah Grace), and Rust (Ellie Reed). I think this show was kind of about love but then it kind of wasn't because the love was so wrong and strange. They didn't express their love the way you think they would express their love, because if you actually love someone then you wouldn't get into big fights in public and throw coffee cups at each other. If you actually love someone you should try to make things better and calm down instead of just flipping out. I think they all did a great job at showing how much they loved the other person but didn't really know what love was about. You also feel a lot for these characters even though you don't get to know them as well as some of the others because you know what their intentions are. And you realize they love the other person, but because no one has really loved them they don't know how to express it.

Franny (Armand Field) and David (Alexander Lane) are two transvestites who would make sassy comments and I found them very lovable because they seemed like some of the only people who never got into a big fight. They seemed like very good friends. They spent all their time with each other and they were always laughing. One of my favorite parts that showed Franny's I-don't-care-what-you-are-going-to-say attitude was when she went out into the back alley where all of the junkies were, and someone just started hitting on her and she was just like "Ok, I'll give into this. It's fine. I can do whatever I want." I respected that so much because sometimes men who dress like women aren't treated in a respectful way but Franny didn't let that scare her. She didn't care that she was a man and these people probably wanted a lady; she went ahead and gave them what they asked for. And she seemed to feel good about herself.

There is this big long story that Darlene tells to Ann. I just realized how long it must have taken to memorize that! It is basically a speech about her life and about the guy that she was going to marry. And it made you feel sorry for her because it seemed like she had had a very hard life and she didn't know what to do with herself anymore. She was talking about this long line she had to go through to get her marriage certificate and how it was probably just sitting in a box somewhere and now she would probably never see the person she was going to marry again because he eventually just moved away. That story is like an Adele song that makes me want to cry. At the beginning, Ann seemed like she didn't really care and didn't even really want to be talking to her, but then as the story goes on you can see her getting more and more interested in Darlene's life. Because it gets more and more dramatic and by the end it gets very sad.

If you don't want to know the ending. Don't read the next paragraph.

I thought it was really interesting how at the very end after Joe has been knifed in the stomach, everyone just tries to move on by trying to start over again by just going back to the beginning. But some of them can't, like Ann and Darlene. They just sit there while everyone is just moving on and repeating the lines from the beginning. I think that is trying to show us how some people can't start over after somebody they know dies, even if they haven't known them very long.

People who would like this show are people who like coffee shops, narratively helpful junkies, and awesome long monologues about waiting in line. I think that people should definitely definitely go see this show. It is very sad, but it is also has some pretty funny moments. I think it is a big spectacle because it has so many characters and there are so many different lines that you have to put together. I really loved this show. I thought that it was very interesting.

Photos: Michael Brosilow

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review of The Artistic Home's Macbeth

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Macbeth. It was by William Shakespeare and it was directed by Scott Westerman. It was set 25 years after The Great Water Riots of 2089. I have never seen Macbeth in the future before, and I love it. It was a very different way of experiencing it because you think it will all happen in the future and there will be a new Macbeth. It still has the same plotline, characters, and language. I think this was a great show because it was different from a normal Macbeth but then it still kept the great aspects of the original story.

The weird sisters (Brookelyn Hébert, Jill Oliver, Skye Shrum) were very creepy because they were very threatening and they seemed insane because they would just break into screaming and pounding against whatever was by them (sound design by John Corkill and Alex Monroe). Their costumes (by Misti Bradford) seemed like war garments because they had these camouflage headdresses that they would wear and would make them disappear, but then the actors pretended they couldn't see them but the audience could so you felt like you were in the witches' world. There were all these human-sized holes in the stage (scenic and lighting design by Jake Bray) that had toxic water in them and the witches crawled out of them. When anyone died they fell into the holes and they might have become witches as well. So I think the witches were kind of like the people who had been hit the hardest by the pollution. And when Banquo (Tom Hickey) came back from the dead, instead of just coming back and staring, the witches crawled on top of him and started spitting water on top of his head and he would stare there with water trickling down his face. And I was like, "O my gosh. That is so creepy!" There was also a ghost named Hecate (Allie Long) who is the master of the witches and she had this very long outfit that would project faces of Banquo's descendants who will become kings. I thought they made Hecate super creepy, but not as creepy as the witches, which was a good idea because if it was any creepier everyone would have nightmares.

I think that Lady Macbeth's (Maria Stephens) scene when she came out and was sleepwalking was very scary and kind of depressing. The thing was that she had on more modern day clothes and was carrying a lantern and there was a red light shining on her as she said all these words. And she would just go into these crying fits. And even though she was a terrible person, she was realizing her terrible ways, and it seemed like she regretted them. So you wanted to reach out and help her and say, "I'll help you, Lady Macbeth. It will be ok!" I think that usually Lady Macbeth uses her sexiness to make all these bad things happen, but this Lady Macbeth wasn't just trying to use her sexiness to make Macbeth (John Mossman) do bad things. There were other tactics too, like just acting like a loving wife and just being like, "This is the logical thing to do: killing the king so you'll be king faster. Oh, but then you have to kill Banquo too." And then Macbeth gets carried away with the rest of it.

I think that the character of Macbeth is a very hard one to portray because at the beginning you want him to seem like a nice guy, but then he has to get more and more evil as the show goes on so you basically have to switch characters. He is not a complete jerk at the end because you feel sorry for him because he has lost his favorite thing in the whole world, which is his wife. When Banquo came back from the dead, Macbeth was just so terrified and he was like a crazy person trying not to be crazy when he said, "It is nothing to those who know me." I thought it was super scary when Macbeth killed the two supposed murderers of Duncan. And I was not expecting it and they just screamed and it just happened and it was just so scary. It shows you how evil he is that he just killed innocent people for himself. Usually you don't see him kill them, but in this version you do. I found that terrifying, but it was still very awesome. I also thought it was cool that instead of just using swords in the fights (choreography by David Blixt) like they usually do in Macbeth, Macbeth and Macduff used a chain and would swing it back and forth.

I really loved the porter (Long). I thought that she was hilarious and also very very drunk. She would just get so mad about people knocking at the door and disrupting her sleep. And she talks with MacDuff (Frank Nall) and Ross (Eric Leonard) and I loved that she did not care whatsoever about what was going on with those people's lives. She was just like, I really want to go back to sleep and I really have to pee.

People who would like this show are people who like scary witches, Macbeth in the future, and drunk porters. I think people should definitely definitely go see this show. I really loved the performances and this really awesome take on Macbeth.

Photos: Tim Knight

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review of Theater Oobleck's Song About Himself

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Song About Himself. It was by Mickle Maher and Theater Oobleck never has a director, kind of like Back Room Shakespeare. It was about a woman named Carol (Diana Slickman) who heard about this website where you could meet people like yourself and people unlike yourself where she met a nameless Host/Hostess (Colm O'Reilly). She also met a guy named Tod (Guy Massey) who was kind of in love with Carol because he didn't really know anyone or anything. Something bad has happened in the world, but there are people still alive, but things are sort of crappy and some people can't really put together sentences. She is lonely so she goes on this find-friends site so she can meet other people that can speak. This is like the one web site that there is because the others don't exist anymore. It is kind of like if Facebook just plummeted and somebody went back to MySpace and nobody else really wanted to. But then it seems like the Host/Hostess really wants Carol to stay, kind of like Candy Crush, how they make you super addicted to it and you keep going back even though you don't really want to. It is about feeling lonely, coming back even though you don't know why, and hopefulness.

There wasn't anything on the stage except for a spotlight (lighting design by Martha Bayne)and the characters would say the stage directions. Like the Host/Hostess would say "fading" when the light was fading. And he would say that all the time whenever the lights came down. And sometimes you wouldn't see people you would just hear them. And then that was more mysterious and also it was actually more realistic because actually if you were online you probably wouldn't see their actual lips moving or their actual faces just their words if you were just on Facebook or email or something. I thought it would make a cool movie if they did this show but then the only things that you saw were the tops of their heads and see their typing and hear a voiceover. It would be cool to have a voiceover even though you wouldn't need it because this entire play is about speaking and not being able to talk.

I thought that Tod was a really interesting character because he was a mailman and everybody was saying that mailmen were mentally ill. And he still seemed like a very sane person because when he got to know Carol on the weed--the worldwide weed--he wanted to meet her in real life so it seemed like he could speak and some of the other people left in the world seemed more insane. Like Carol's neighbors can't really talk, but he had a special thing like Carol: they can both really talk. Tod is in this because the audience wants to be able to want two people to get together and live happily ever after, but then when there are obstacles and everything is not going as planned, it makes the entire thing more emotional.

The nameless Host/Hostess was kind of like the comic relief but you kind of felt sorry for him because he was just a thing of the weed. And in that world, being a part of the internet, it was a bad thing. You couldn't know if you were actually real or not. You felt sorry for him a lot because he knew he wasn't human but he wanted Carol to be his friend. But then she didn't really want to, when she just wanted to talk to Tod instead of talking to the nameless Host/Hostess. And I thought it was super funny how mad he got when someone wouldn't lengthy post. Then he would be like, "You have to lengthy post! CAROL!" I think he wanted her to lengthy post because then that means they could talk about the lengthy post and they could back-and-forth. I think that a computer program, kind of like a virtual pet or a virtual friend like Siri, can still want things and refuse to do things. And he could have been a person typing what he was saying. Computer programs are made by people programming computers!

The character of Carol was sad because she was such a messed up person but then kind of comical still because of some of the very strange things she said to the nameless Host/Hostess. Sometimes she would be like, "I practiced the clarinet!" and she would just flip out about how much she had practiced and how there should be more people on YouSpake, the website that they are on. But then the heartbreaking part is when she wants to be able to meet Tod and she finds out she can't. I can't say why because that would give away the story. And she also watches this TV show that is funny/sad. It is called Song About Himself and there is this guy who says that they will listen to the great poet but then the thing is that they never end up getting to it because either the disc is smudged or they can't find it. Or the most funny one was when she was talking to the nameless Host/Hostess about it and she was listening to Song About Himself and she was like, "They are actually going to get to listen to the great poet!" but then the nameless Host/Hostess said, "I know this show. I have actually seen this one. They drop it behind the couch." And then she was like, "Oh. Damn it. They did drop it behind the couch!" They never actually get to the thing you have been waiting for, but Carol always has hope that everything will be okay in the end. The TV show is kind of like the show because Carol wants to listen to the great poet and you feel like she never will, but you still have hope. So you are like Carol. And Carol is like the guy on the TV. And it is like a line of being like people. The nameless Host/Hostess really wants to hear words and poetry, that's why he wants lengthy posts, so that he can read them and be happy. But you think he's never going to get them.

People who would like this show are people who like poetry, lengthy posts, and clarinets. I think people should definitely go see this show. It is eye-opening and it will blow your mind. And I actually think that while I was writing the review I understood it even better than when I was watching it. So, I think it would be good if when you got home you could write down some ideas that you had about the show and you can think about those ideas for a little while.

Photos: Evan Hanover

Friday, April 10, 2015

Review of The Plagiarists' These Saints Will Burn

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called These Saints Will Burn. It was by Robert Stewart and it was directed by Jack Dugan Carpenter. It was about Joan of Arc (Sara Jean McCarthy) and her first battle and how she got there. She met a lot of people along the way, like a mercenary named The Bastard R (Sean McGill), a guy who is a lot like Baudricourt (Julia Stemper), and the Dauphin (Melissa Reeves). And it all starts because of these saints--St. Sebastian (Stemper), St. Catherine (Jessica Saxvik), and Saint Margaret (Reeves)--who are kind of like bad friends to her because they encourage her to die because then she can become a saint. But I'm like, "What if she doesn't want to become a saint right at that moment. What if she wants to live a full life and then become a saint?" It definitely was a very different way of telling Joan of Arc's story. I thought the puppets were pretty awesome. Even though the fighting was very gross, it was still pretty fun to watch. I think people could have fun at this show if they want to have their minds twisted and turned about Joan of Arc and the story.

I thought that the puppets (designed by Andrew Marchetti) were cool. I really liked the kind of roughness, so they didn't look like puppets you would buy at the store. They looked very homemade and awesome. I think that Jeux the Crow (Tony Kaehny) was adorable and looked like an actual crow that you would see outside. Like, it was a little scruffy but still adorable, kind of like a newborn crow. He seemed like a best friend to Joan, and that made it even more sad at the end when they are both burned. She is in the pyre and they hand her the crow, which is like in the original story someone makes her a cross out of two sticks to die with. So the crow is like the cross. I think they chose to make the puppets of the powerful people giant so then they could tower over Joan but you could see that she still had power even though she was small. You don't usually think of puppets as powerful, you think of them as weak. If you feel you are being puppet-ed by someone, you feel like you have no power. She was small, but still she could beat them.

There is a lot of fights and violence in the show. Some of it I thought was pretty awesome. But some of it I felt like it was a little too over-the-top in grossness. Sometimes I was like, "Yeah! Go and kill that person!" but sometimes it made me sick to my stomach because you would see someone being dragged offstage and there were a bunch of thumps and The Bastard R would come back on stage with a severed head (props by Kailee Tomasic) with blood and veins coming out of it. I can't get that face out of my head. Oh my gosh, it was so creepy. But one of the things I really liked was the first few moves when it wasn't very gross and he would just come around and stab them and you were like, "Yay!" I think the play is asking, "Does God really want people to die so France can have the Dauphin become king?" Or maybe it is asking if Joan of Arc is sent by God. You kind of feel like that because of the really gross violence that happened and how you kind of feel sorry for the British because a bunch of them were brutally murdered by a person who was working for someone who might not have known the difference between a rainstorm and God sending a message.

There were also some kind of confusing parts to the show. Pretty close to the beginning there was a scene with the mother and the father of Joan of Arc. And they bought her a crocodile and she was allergic to it. And Baudricourt found that very funny because she was allergic to the crocodile. Sometimes I like weird and crazy things. When I got home I looked up to see if there was actually a Joan of Arc crocodile incident and I couldn't find anything. It would have been funnier if it had been more related to the story. Like if she had gotten on her horse and was allergic to that and couldn't stop sneezing on the entire ride there. I was also confused about how The Bastard R got to be a saint because he was such a bad person. He just murders people without a care. He doesn't even listen for mercy; he just murders them. I don't know how murdering gets you to heaven. I also didn't understand why they kept switching back from French to English. The thing is, some people in the audience didn't speak fluent French, so you might not be able to put together a sentence if some of it was in complicated French. I understood some of the French, but sometimes I got lost on the whole sentence.

People who would like this show are people who like adorable crows, bloody fight scenes, and big puppets. This show will boggle your mind but you can still have a fun time. It makes you think about the actual story of Joan of Arc and if all the things that she said were actually true.

Photos: Joe Mazza at Brave Lux